Where you sit makes all the difference!
A man on a chair that towers over the heads of all around him has a different perspective on life – and “Chairs, a Parable”, the new play by Sebastien Archibald takes a radical approach to the idea of perspective.
The play starts simply enough – 3 guys are sitting on the floor – all equals, all sharing in the tasks and experiences that have gone before – and lie ahead. A shadow play behind them shows the passage of time – and evantually becomes a window on the world outside of the theatre stage.
Drawing heavily on works by Pinter – and with the occasional nod to Theatre of the Absurd, the actors in “Chairs” craftily draw the audience into their world view.
Once the first chair – with it’s drastic change in perception – comes on stage – the relationships between the 3 characters begins to change – in increasingly radical ways. At first it’s 2 on the floor against the one with the chair. But eventually it dawns on the 2 that they could build a 2nd chair, slightly shorter than the first one. But it isn’t clear which of them should get the ‘seat’.
Eventually, one is ‘promoted’, and now you have a ‘superior’, a ‘supervisor’ and a worker. The character in the middle position twists and turns trying to see the world from both sides – sometimes successfully – sometimes with very discouraging results.
To describe the play as facsinating would be an understatement. But it’s not just well performed, it asks important questions in a very approachable way. Throughout the whole play I kept thinking about how I look at life – am I guilty of looking at the world only from my point of view? I suspect that most of us do that without realizing it – so isn’t intriguing to watch a play that through the approachable conceit of chairs exposes our inability to recognize our own blinders.
“Chairs, A parable” being performed twice more here in Montreal – on Saturday June 22, 2013 and Sunday June 23, 2014. Make an effort to see it – you will not be disappointed.