Cahoots Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille have teamed up to produce the world premiere of our place; written by Kanika Ambrose and directed by Sabryn Rock. This brilliant work looks at the lives of two women who work at Jerk Pork Palace and their struggles with being immigrants living in Canada. With unique dialects, poignant subject matter, and a stellar cast, our place is a phenomenal addition to the Canadian theatre cannon.
I loved the set for our place; using the full scope of Theatre Passe Muraille’s mainspace the restaurant occupies the majority of the floor space while the hotel room gets its own corner. We get a very intimate perspective for both locations and they juxtapose each other so perfectly. The restaurant is bright and vibrant, while the hotel is bland and beige. I feel like it perfectly represents the hope and excitement of moving to a new country, but then the disappointment when it’s discovered how hard it will be to stay.
The cast of our place is superb; each actor gives their unique characters such life and vibrancy, allowing us to emotionally connect with them and their situation. Virgilia Griffith and Sophia Walker play Andrea and Niesha respectively. They handled these new and diverse dialects with expertise and gave such genuine, beautiful performances; I really felt for them and the fear they have to constantly live with, all in the name of making a better life for themselves and their children. Tremaine Nelson plays Andrea’s beau Malcolm, who has a fascinating character arc of his own. Nelson gives Malcolm the right swagger but also the right amount of heart for us to go along the journey with him. Rounding out the cast is Pablo Ogunlesi who plays Eldrick, a patron of the restaurant who then begins to date Niesha. Ogunlesi gives Eldrick such charm and kindness, it’s easy to see why Neisha would fall for him.
I really enjoy watching works like our place which present very real looks at issues facing members of our society which I myself will never have to worry about. Niesha and Andrea are working so hard, saving money to send home, to try and bring their children to Canada, all the while knowing that if they’re found without their papers, it’s game over for them. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to live in that constant state of fear. But theatre like our place is meant to help open our minds and our hearts to these difficult topics and consider a point of view different from our own. It does this masterfully, and I hope it will become another Kim’s Convenience where it will be able to be shared and loved widely.
This is the last week of performances of our place at Theatre Passe Muraille. Please get out to see this incredible work while you still can! For more information and tickets visit: our place – Theatre Passe Muraille
Virgilia Griffith and Sophia Walker in Our Place. Photo by Gesilayefa Azorbo