Left me feeling truly in awe.
Rough Magic is an absolutely amazing show, both captivating and spellbinding. It is one of those fantastic shows that are so polished they shine. Staged by (award winning) Theatre Arcturus, Rough Magic blends theatre, music and aerial work to produce something that is in a class all its own.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the story follows the fraught relationship between Ariel (the mystical, aerial sprite character) and Caliban (the earth bound, human character). As Caliban scuttles about on the ground, Ariel rises and descends beautifully on aerial silks, or observing from a perch. Meanwhile Caliban rises from his station with rope work. The two converse, question, develop a relationship and quarrel, all woven together intricately as they rise up and down in their aerial work.
The aerial work is part of what makes this show spectacular. The fact that the two performers (Lindsay Bellaire Phillip Psutka, who is also the writer) can execute this (extremely) physical piece of theatre, and deliver their lines, and do it all so seamlessly, makes Rough Magic absolutely brilliant.
Brendan McNally has written and produced 4 Fringe shows, as well as acting in a number of other shows, volunteering at the Fringe, been a puppet wrangler and billet for traveling Fringe performers, and is a regular contributor to OttawaTonite.com