Meaty. It’s a word Christopher Bedford uses several times when talking about his latest project, the Ottawa English-language premiere of Larry Tremblay’s play, The Ventriloquist.
Bedford is directing the show, and says from the first time he read the play he was taken with the content and the language.
“I was immediately interested in the meatiness of the text, and how many options there were to do things. This is a very intricate and interesting play,” he says.
But he is also wary of talking too much about the content, as giving too much away can alter the audience’s experience, and he is eager for there to be an emotional reaction from all who come to see it.
“At its essence it’s a play about a boy playing with his doll, but what you soon discover is that he is a troubled person and the doll and their interactions are a way for him to act out his life.”
Described as dark and mesmerizing, the layered play stars Scott Goldman, Mishka Lavigne, William Beddoe and Lisa Twardowska as Gaby, the doll.
Twardowska says taking on the character of the doll was an interesting journey.
“It’s fascinating because all of the action is taking place in a disturbed young man’s head and in his conversations with the doll,” she explains. “It’s characters playing characters. The reality shifts under your feet all the time.”
Bedford was nominated for a Rideau Award earlier this year, and says he prefers directing to acting because it just “feels right” for him.
“I like getting caught up in that rush of creativity and seeing how the ideas in my head are translated on stage,” he says.
The Ventriloquist runs tonight and Saturday at the University of Ottawa, Studio Léonard Beaulne. For more information, visit www.evolutiontheatre.ca.