Metro Studio Theatre
1411 Quadra Street
Aug 25th 10:30pm
Aug 26th 1:15pm
Aug 27th 6:30pm
Aug 28th 8.45pm
Sept 2nd 3:45pm
Sept 3rd 1:00pm
The 2017 Victoria Fringe Festival will soon take over this Garden City located on Vancouver Island, and Outpost 31 (Casino Royale, Winnie the Pooh) is back with the world premiere of Leer. David Elendune wrote and directed this tale which looks into the deepest layer of Hell, where Satan is female (played by Wendy Magahay, known for Jocasta Regina and The Old Lady’s Guide to Survival) and has three daughters — Lilith (Ellen Law), Beelzebub (Amber Landry) and Asmodeus (Wendy Cornock) — to tend to. The cast also includes Pan (Caroline Mackenzie) and Belphegor (Leanne Allen).
Magahay explained why she took on the role: “I’m a mother, so I’m used to making scary choices. Because it’s a terrific story and actors can’t resist good stories. Because it’s gender-bent and provides a new and important lens. And sadly, because mad dictators seem never to go out of style!”
Always seeking creative challenges, Elendune is especially looking forward to sharing his originally sinful reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic family feud from Hell… “Leer’s initial inspiration was drawn from my memories of reading an article as a teenager called The Politics of Hell by Alexander Von Thorne… I guess my take is if Tarantino did Paradise Lost with devils & witches & steampunk, oh my!”
“I’ve always got one eye on trying to entertain the poor lost soul who believes theatre isn’t for the likes of them, and has been dragged mumbling and grumbling along by their friend and/or partner. Hopefully if we do a good job they’ll then be inspired to want to go and see more shows.”
This writer / director finds the real fun in producing new adaptations is in the blurring of the lines between where the original author’s work ends and his own product begin. “Most writers are constantly struggling to find their own unique voice, whereas conversely, I’m forever endevouring to disguise mine… Similar to a chameleon morphing to their surroundings, or a character actor changing themself to match the role, rather than the role to match themselves,” said Elendune.
Fans of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein will soon get to see this auteur’s interpretation at Theatre Inconnu in the Fall 2018, but to see how much of Leer borrows from Milton’s seminal work will mean waiting. The work (script) is a finalist at the University Of California’s Ground & Field Theatre Festival. Perhaps the scholars there see a potential in this further developing this interpretation for a broader audience. But for theatre-goers in Victoria, BC, we will soon see when Fringe Fest kicks off.