Josh Languedoc of Indigenized Indeginous Theatre from St. Albert, Alberta is the creator of this marvellous play. It is about his relationship with his grandfather and is told from the perspective of a young boy reading his story to the rest of his class for a school project.
The setting is minimal - a chair in the centre of a stage, a folder of torn and ragged pages on the floor, pages over to front stage right. The actor vividly portrays the young sick boy in a hospital bed from the chair and his recovered self reading from the folder, telling his fellow students about how his story came to him while he was ill.
The actor (and writer) moves from one character to another beautifully and seamlessly, holding our attention through the winding tale as it moves through time and space. Eventually he plays multiple characters in the story - the grandfather, raven, young warrior, King, wolf and many others that fill the stories told by his Grandfather. In each case Languedoc subtly inhabits each, giving physical clues so that we never lose track of the story as each character tells his part.
I thoroughly enjoyed the play and the performance. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy it. It's a great tale for children as well as adults.
Rocko and Nakota - Tales From The Land by Indigenized Indeginous Theatre is playing at the Waterfront Theatre 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Evelyn McKelvie
Click "read more" for the full video transcript.
Hi, theatre addicts, it's Evelyn McKelvie. I'm down here at Granville Island heading into Waterfront Theatre to see Rocko and Nakota: Tales from the Land. It is part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival. I'm looking forward to this show. It's done by a young man from St. Alberta, Josh Longueduc, and the production company's called Indiginized Indigenous Theatre. And it's a story about the land. Tales from the Land, as told by this young man, plus his grandfather. I'm looking forward to it, and I'll talk to you after, tell you what it was like.
Hi, Evelyn McKelvie again. I just came out of Rocko and Nakota. What a great show. What a great storyteller, and what can I say? It was about 45 minutes. A small audience tonight, although a good-sized theatre, and the writer, Josh, played multiple characters. The story is basically about a young boy coming into his own, having a grandpa figure appear to him, and, through stories he comes into his own power. And it's a great story.
The actor plays multiple characters, and not all of them are human. He acts out Raven, Wolf, and Wolverine. He's a young boy looking for heroes and looking for his own inner strength. The lighting was great. The lighting supports this movement from one place to another in time, space, and from one character to another. One of the parts that I liked in the story was about encountering elk dogs, which are, of course, horses. And this is an indigenous series of tales, and of course the North American Indians were a horse culture. Horses were important to them.
So, what I liked about it. I liked the way the man moved from one character to another. He really inhabited the young boy, the old man, the chief, the raven, he really managed to convey the spirit and the feeling of each of those different characters. He kept the story moving, he kept us all completely enthralled, and it's a great show. I highly encourage you to go and see it.
What didn't I like? There wasn't really anything I didn't like about this show. Very minimal staging, just one little chair, a little plastic chair. Plus, the writer and the storyteller moves from place to place onstage to denote the time and the place of the stories that are unfolding. So yeah, I don't think there's anything about this that I couldn't recommend.
Evelyn McKelvie, just reviewed Rocko and Nakota here at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island for the 2018 Fringe Festival, and we encourage you to leave your comments below, check out the website, theatre addicts, check out the Facebook page, and also there's a YouTube channel. And I hope you enjoy the Fringe.
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