Review: Heptademic Redux – worth going “off island” for

Vancouver’s Hardline Productions is at it again.  In their self-described mission to produce “theatre that punches you in the face” this talented group has mounted an entertaining and wildly imaginative hour with their 2010 Vancouver International Fringe entry, Heptademic Redux.

Heptademic ReduxWhat happens when you put seven strangers into a tiny room with provisions for only a few days while the world outside appears to be crumbling around them?  Who is going to crack? What would you be willing to do to keep your sanity and hope alive?  Do you begin doubting what is real and what is imagined?  Heptademic Redux tries to answer all these questions and more in a fast-paced hour of clever dialogue, spot-on acting and some great theatricality.

The ensemble here is strong (Aaron Adams, Raes Calvert, Gui Fontanezzi, Lisa Goebel, Sean Oliver, Emily Rowed, Andrea Yu) and all bring subtleties to their characters that would take the audience multiple shows to fully explore.

Director Anthony F. Ingram creates small vignettes that flow easily from focus to focus and has obviously helped each of the players create a back story for their characters that raises each beyond simple stereotypes.

The physical mechanism used for the passage of time is the best I have seen on stage, reminiscent of what one might see through a surveillance camera.  This, coupled by another great venue choice that puts us right into the action, made me feel at times like a government scientist watching a real-life experiment on human behaviour.

Huge kudos must go out to the technical team here as well.  Joel Grinke’s sound design is nearly flawless providing some wonderful sound-effects and music with pinpoint accuracy throughout the evening.

For some added fun and perhaps a clue, see if you can make out what Jim Lovell (Aaron Adams) is reading.

This Fringe, be more adventurous than usual and go “off Island”. Go see Heptademic Redux and let this fine group punch you in the face.  In the best possible way, of course.

Hardline Productions 1; Audience 2.

4 1/2 of 5 Stars Heptademic Redux
Little Mountain Studios, 195 East 26th Avenue, Vancouver

Saturday, Sept 11, 6:00pm & 8:00pm
Sunday, Sept 12, 6:00pm & 8:00pm
Monday, Sept 13, 6:00pm & 8:00pm
Wednesday, Sept 15, 8:00pm
Thursday, Sept 16, 8:00pm
Friday, Sept 17, 6:00pm & 8:00pm
Saturday, Sept 18, 6:00pm & 8:00pm
Sunday, Sept 19, 6:00pm & 8:00pm

Visit http://www.vancouverfringe.com or http://heptademic.blogspot.com for tickets and information.

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