In Travesties, Henry Carr recalls his perceptions and his experiences with author James Joyce, communist revolutionary Lenin, and the founder of Dada, Tristan Tzara. As he reminisces about the interactions with these influential figures that occurred in Switzerland during World War I Carr’s memory sometimes becomes confused, and he struggles to remember how things occurred. Various versions are depicted as the stage lights flicker and the scene resets to start again.
Art, the War and revolution are investigated in a framework of comedy including puns, limericks, and parody. References are interestingly also made to many other works of theatre within this production.
The Segal Centre constantly proves to be innovative in its approach to presenting thought provoking productions by presenting Travesties, directed by Jacob Tierney. The Sunday morning lecture serves to give the enthusiastic viewer a bit of background before seeing the show and there are also discussion groups after certain performances. There’s something entertaining in this play for most everyone.
I enjoyed looking up lots of things on the net afterwards to fill in some of the many blanks that this outstanding production conjured up for me.
I encourage you to see Travesties during its limited run, for as one of the characters, Cecily the librarian, says to Carr “Intellectual curiosity is not so common that one can afford to discourage it.”