Factory Theatre is adding another jewel to its crown with the world premiere of Vierge. Written by Rachel Mutombo and directed by Natasha Mumba, Vierge examines the lives of four teenage girls and the very real, very adult problems they face. Featuring a stellar cast and an engaging script, Vierge is one you won’t want to miss.
The set of Vierge is so instantly recognizable as a church basement; with piles of random boxes and furniture taking up the corners of the room, and most of that looking like it hadn’t been touched since the 80’s, designer Rachel Forbes perfectly situates the audience. My favourite element was the religious items set into the walls; it is a brilliant visualization of the importance and sanctity which are given to these items, the church building included, as part of religious worship.
Rachel Mutombo’s brilliant script is brought to life by Yvonne Addai, JD Leslie, Kudakwashe Rutendo, and Shauna Thompson. All four actors did an impressive job playing teens; their physicality, Thompson leads the cast as Divine, a newcomer to the church who wants to lead a youth Bible Study. Having seen Thompson in several productions recently, I am continually awed by her versatility and honesty in her acting; she brings all of this and more to Divine. I couldn’t help but relate to Divine’s naive nature, and the look on her face in the final scene speaks volumes. Rutendo’s performance is also very emotional and she portrays her character’s struggles with grace and vulnerability. Leslie and Addai have the perfect sibling chemistry on stage: lots of love with a hint of tension. They both had very feisty characters and they were a joy to watch.
Vierge deals with quite a few subjects which we normally deem “taboo.” My hope is that through more works of art like this one, we can break down those social constructs and the shame that’s usually accompanied with these subjects and have honest discussions with one another. Vierge is the kind of work I hope I get to keep witnessing; fun, intriguing, and yet raw, it’s a show you don’t want to miss! You only have until April 30th so get your tickets ASAP! Visit: https://www.factorytheatre.ca/shows/vierge/
Pictured (L-R) Kudakwashe Rutendo, Shauna Thompson, JD Leslie, Yvonne Addai ; Photo by Dahlia Katz ; Set & Props Design by Rachel Forbes ; Costume Design by Joyce Padua ; Lighting Design by Jareth Li