Theatre Preview: The Elephant Calf brings an absurd twist to an old classic

Nov 20 2016, 10:42 pm

On first glance, The Elephant Calf, a play originally performed in 1963, should be put out to pasture by now. In the hands of local Theatre Encounter, however, absurdity levels run high as the company takes on a wild and boisterous reimagining of Bertolt Brecht’s work.

The kick-off to the company’s “season of cruelty,” The Elephant Calf will blend physical theatre, sport, and performance art to reinterpret the play for modern audiences.

Set in a small, smokey room, the stage becomes a boxing ring to explore Brecht’s titular themes—identity and the loss of the self. With new hues set to modern technicolour life, and short play becomes a surreal comic-drama that plays at the boundaries of performers and audience.

Image: Dean Mullin

Image: Dean Mullin

Known for their alternative and provocative interpretations of theatre’s classics (now 9 seasons and counting), Theatre Encounter produces classic theatre through a modern Canadian lens, incorporating interdisciplinary art and experimentation. The company proudly “offers Calgarians an alternative to the mainstream view of classic dramatic literature.”

From November 30, head down to the Motel Theatre and hear an old tale about the moon, a banana tree and the all-important elephant calf—like you’ve never seen it before.

The Elephant Calf

When: November 30 to December 10

Where: Motel Theatre at the Arts Commons – 205 8 Avenue SE

Tickets: Purchase at Arts Commons, $20-$25

Cecilia LuCecilia Lu

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