NS reviews

Reviews of theatre and art in Nova Scotia and beyond

Author Archives

elissa barnard

I wrote about arts and entertainment for 35 years for the Chronicle Herald and can't give it all up quite yet. My email is elissa.barnard@gmail.com

Walk across The Bridge: powerful, poetic, Black N.S. story with gospel music

Jacob Sampson as John Solomon and Sophia Walker as Anna in The Bridge, a 2b theatre and Neptune Theatre co-production in association with Obsidian Theatre at Neptune to Feb. 10. (Stoo Metz)  Shauntay Grant’s The Bridge is a powerful, poetic, 75-minute drama about an embattled soul told with the heartache of gospel music and an all-Black cast. In Grant’s rural Nova Scotian community people perceive life through the lens of […]

Continue Reading →

Get Thee to the Theatre: Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before

Micha Cromwell as Ophelia in Below the Salt’s Hamlet, staged at and on an enormous  Edwardian dining table, at Neptune’s studio theatre to Jan. 20. (Stoo Metz) I’ve seen Hamlet at Point Pleasant Park, a film noir Hamlet and even Mel Gibson as Hamlet — what was I thinking? I have never seen a Hamlet like Below the Salt’s startling, unique theatrical experience at the Neptune Studio Theatre to Jan. […]

Continue Reading →

Concord Floral haunting, teen mystery: great start to a theatrical January

Ella Buckler as Bobbie stands behind Mai To as Nearly Wild in Concord Floral, produced by DMV Theatre with the King’s Theatrical Society, at The Pit to Jan. 13. (Emily Pettet) Concord Floral is an intriguing, compelling, 90-minute, magical mystery about suburban youth hiding a dark secret. Staged by DMV Theatre in partnership with the King’s Theatrical Society in The Pit to Jan. 13, it’s remarkable for its talent, for […]

Continue Reading →

Welcome to Dante’s Wild World

 Dante’s Purgatorio is a noisy, funny, thought-provoking, visual extravaganza that makes remarkable use of the entire Sir James Dunn Theatre in a Fountain School of Performing Arts show running through Saturday. Stripped down to its black brick walls, the theatre becomes the frightening world of Purgatory as protagonist Dante and his companion, ancient poet Virgil, climb out of hell – a glowing red, smoking pit – to meet the unusual, […]

Continue Reading →

The Changeling: #metoo meets 17th century in intense, fast-paced tragedy

The Villain’s Theatre updates The Changeling to make it about a young woman driven to extreme action because of male power structures.  As a Jacobean tragedy, the play set in a madhouse is full of murky morality, murder, treachery and sexual appetite. The protagonist Beatrice wants to get rid of her father who stands in the way of her marrying a gentleman she fancies. To do so she leads on […]

Continue Reading →

A tale of twin spirits in silversmithing: gallery talk today, 1:30, at Mary E. Black

Labrador Wave, (close up), Wesley Harris, 12×17.6×13.5cm, sterling silver, fine silver, copper, 14k rose gold, 14k white gold. Harris gives a talk today (Sunday), 1:30 p..m. In the beginning there was a red jasper Chinese ring. This hundred-year-old ring that Wesley Harris found among his late mentor’s things  launches Mentor & Metalsmith: The Silver Art of Arthur Brecken & Wesley Harris, at the Mary E. Black Gallery, close to Pier […]

Continue Reading →

Queer-Storytelling Quadfecta in Halifax this weekend

Stewart Legere in Tom at the Farm, the Atlantic Canadian premiere of Michel Marc Bouchard’s drama, at the Bus Stop Theatre, Halifax, today and Sunday, 4 and 8 p.m., with $5 rush tickets for any LGBTQ+ folks five minutes before every show. (Tee Johnny) The U.S. elected its first openly gay governor Tuesday and, this weekend in Halifax, there is a quadfecta of queer storytelling with three plays and one […]

Continue Reading →

Mary Vingoe’s Some Blow Flutes: deeply moving, honest, rewarding theatre

Hugh Thompson as Costas and Francine Deschepper as Sandra in the premiere of Mary Vingoe’s Some Blow Flutes, at the Bus Stop Theatre, Halifax, through Nov. 4.  (Stoo Metz)  I am at an age when – like many people – I have raised a teen, cared for a parent with Alzheimer’s and lived with grief in the loss of both parents. SO, I needed a lot of Kleenex for Mary […]

Continue Reading →

There’s gonna be a Revolution (in craft)

(All photos by Grace Leammler) REVOLUTION, at the Mary E. Black Gallery through Nov. 4, is an intriguing, imaginative and powerful exhibit by Craft Nova Scotia members. For this juried show the province’s top artisans explored the many intrepretations of the word revolution. The 22 works range from the astonishingly-exquisite song sparrow’s nest of orbiting silver wire by jeweler Elizabeth Goluch to ceramic artist Carol Morrow’s quilt-inspired, revolutionary- red, text-patterned […]

Continue Reading →

The Little Years: magical, dark comedy about limited female roles

Colleen MacIsaac as the thwarted scientist Kate is framed by, left, Christine Daniels as Grace and Mauralea Austin as Alice in Matchstick Theatre’s production of John Mighton’s The Little Years, on Oct. 13 and 14, 2 and 8 p.m., at the Bus Stop Theatre. (Samm Fisher) Given the idea — or hope —  that young women today can do anything they want with their lives, John Mighton’s The Little Years […]

Continue Reading →