What Would Emma Goldman Do?
by Deejay Dayton
ZList Productions - Winnipeg, MB
V.6 - Tom Hendry Warehouse 
An anarchist, a philanthropist, an ex-con and an alt-right publisher celebrate New Year's Eve 2016, and the forthcoming presidency of Donald Trump, with a night of seduction, betrayal and murder. Directed by Leith Clark, this dark comedy is from the people who brought you last year's controversial hit Barbaric Cultural Practices – the Musical. (4 STARS - Winnipeg Free Press)

Cast:
Kamal Chioua, Deejay Dayton, Erin Essery

  
Show Info:
60 Mins
Tickets: $10

Audience:
Mature
Warnings:Coarse language, violent content, sexual content, gunshots
Fri July 21 6:15 PM
Sun July 23 10:15 PM
Mon July 24 12:45 PM
Tue July 25 6:00 PM
Wed July 26 8:15 PM
Fri July 28 12:00 PM
Sun July 30 8:15 PM

What Would Emma Goldman Do?

ZList Productions—Tom Hendry Warehouse

What WOULD Emma Goldman do? I saw this play last night and I still don’t know. I don’t even know if it matters, since the script doesn’t give you a whole lot of information about the influential anarchist.

I’m not sure what the script was trying to do. We are presented with four characters, all of whom are caricatures. There is an anarchist, a philanthropist, and ex-con and an alt-right publisher. Non of these people are likeable, in fact they are all quite despicable. Is the show just camp, a poke at the bear as it were? Is it social commentary, trying to define and expose us as people who present one aspect but always have hidden agendas and nefarious goals? Or was it really trying to examine the current political state of society, with special reference to the USA?

I really don’t know. If it was camp, the send up didn’t go far enough. If it was social commentary, the script did not give the characters any way for us as an audience to care about them, or what happens to them. As far as the USA situation, there was really not enough there to actually promote discussion.

The acting was adequate. The actors know how to move on stage, deliver their lines, and interact with each other. Generally, the alt-right publisher and the boyfriend were the most interesting to watch. They found some humour in their roles, and kept things moving. The anarchist character was often strident in her delivery as opposed to being passionate about her beliefs, and the philanthropist wife character was underwritten, and not even really a philanthropist.

The production values of this show were pretty low. This is a millionaire’s mansion for Pete’s sake. The couch was from the nineties, the rug looked like it came off of someone’s porch and the ottoman was plastic. So too, was quite an important prop, the gun, which was badly painted silver and nonfunctional.

This was not a show I would encourage people to see.

Michelle Cook