If you’re looking for a night of spine-chilling stories full of mystery, magic, and mayhem, you needn’t look any further than Dressed as People: A Triptych of Uncanny Abduction. Performed by Margo MacDonald and directed by Mary Ellis, Dressed as People combines three stories from three different time periods and locations into one performance of incredible storytelling. Perfectly positioned at the uncanny Red Sandcastle Theatre, Dressed as People is not-to-be-missed theatre!

I loved walking in to see the three costumes dangling from the ceiling; along with the stools of props below it made for the perfect preview of what was to come. Margo MacDonald performs all three monologues and changes costumes on stage throughout the performance. I love getting to see these normally behind-the-scenes aspects of the performance, and it gives the audience the right cues as well as to when the performance is switching stories. I also liked that each story was contained in the part of the stage in front of the costumes/props; it again gave each story its own little world to exist in and they didn’t bleed into one another. MacDonald is brilliant in each different role. Her whole self changed seamlessly from one story to the next, and she tells each story with such passion and grace. It was truly a pleasure to watch her work and I can’t wait to see her in future productions.

The first monologue is entitled “Skinless” and was written by Kelly Robson. MacDonald plays a nun who is also a Canadian Literature professor at a University in Edmonton. The introduction to the course cracked me up; she sounded like the vast majority of the professors I had at University! However, what starts off as your typical first day of an Literature lecture quickly turns very spooky as she begins to describe one of her first posts as a nun in Ireland in the 1950’s. Things get creepier as the story goes and honestly, I’m still shocked that I haven’t had nightmares about the imagery described in this story! It’s a haunting, brilliant start to this incredible trio of tales.

“The Shape of My Teeth” by Amal El-Mohtar is next. It takes place in the 1800’s in England, a time where fairy tales weren’t as cute and cuddly as most of us know them to be now. “The Shape of My Teeth” is a beautiful queer love story blended together with the lore surrounding England’s deep dark forests and the magical beings therein. MacDonald does a particularly beautiful job with this piece, letting each time she tells the story of the character reveal more and more to us; layers of her defences slowly falling away. This used all of the delightful old-wives-tales and supposed defences against dark magic which again made my English Major heart so happy. I especially love how this one ends; I only wish I could have a full novel of this story and then what happens after the ending of what we get to see in the play!

The last and certainly funniest piece of Dressed as People is “Repositioning” by A.M. Dellamonica. I love the frame narrative of the comedian making a self-tape to send to her agent; it feels all to real especially given the last few years. The story that the character is relating to us is equally as magical and mesmerizing as the ones before. It’s a new and brilliant way to use the legends of the sea we all know and love but to give them a modern, queer twist. To me, this was the perfect way to end our travels in this triptych and certainly still had me laughing days later.

Dressed as People only runs until March 18th, so you need to get your tickets ASAP! Red Sandcastle has limited seating and trust me you don’t want to miss this show! Margo MacDonald is a total tour de force and I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than watching her expertly tell these incredible stories. For more information and tickets, visit: https://www.ticketscene.ca/series/1032/


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