Tarragon Theatre is currently presenting Hannah Moscovitch’s latest play, Post-Democracy. Directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, this provocative, poignant work is a sobering look at the world’s most elite citizens and what gets hidden behind boardroom doors. With a stellar cast and an intriguing script, Post-Democracy is not to be missed.
The set design for Post-Democracy (designed by Teresa Przybylski) is so fascinating; the stark white walls with bright white lights illuminating the set creates an almost sterile environment for the play to take place. The red chez sticks out so brightly against all of this, as does the piece of artwork which covers the back wall. It truly allows us to focus on the people and their turmoil while also jolting us into the start of every scene.
The cast of Post-Democracy deliver sensational performances from every actor. Diego Matamoros plays Bill, the CEO of the company who’s carrying around a heavy secret of his own. Matamoros exudes the gravitas of an experienced CEO, and you can tell from his expressions that even more is weighing on Bill. His daughter Justine is played by Chantelle Han. Justine is the CFO of the company, and provides a moral compass…for a time anyways. Han’s ferocity, particularly when arguing with COO Lee, is astounding, and when she turns that ferocity on other characters, you really get a feel for what these people are capable of. Lee is played by Jesse LaVercombe; he is the culmination of every frat-boy business major who has never had to clean up after his own messes. His attempts to justify his unjustifiable actions purely to maintain his status amongst his company boggles the mind, and LaVercombe does an amazing job at bringing this all to the stage. Rachel Cairns plays Shannon, who unfortunately has to deal with the scandal as it unfolds, and finds herself at the centre of another one over the course of the play. Cairns brings a kindness to Shannon that so starkly contrasts what we see of the other characters, one wonders how poor Shannon could survive in that world at all.
In her notes on the play, Hannah Moscovitch says “I hung around with the 1% for a while in my 20s. I listened to how they talk. I saw how they live. I want to show them to you.” You absolutely get that feeling while watching this play; you are a fly on the wall of this hotel lounge watching the calamity ensue and you are totally incapable to stopping anything. Nothing is sugar coated, everything feels raw and real and that creates a tense and marvellous play. While there are moments of genuine laughter at the beginning, those turn to gasps and groans as the play continues and more layers of the truth are revealed. We’ve all heard the saying that “everything has a price,” but these people can actually financially pay that price to cover up any wrongdoing; I feel like I more fully understand how certain wealthy people have gotten away with so much before anything comes to light.
You simply must go and see Post-Democracy. It runs until December 4th at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace. For more information, including a very helpful resource guide, and to purchase tickets, visit: Post-Democracy – Tarragon Theatre
Jesse LaVercombe and Diego Matamoros in Post-Democracy. Photo by Mike Meehan