This spring, Isle in the River Review takes a slightly different direction with its rendition of Heroes, Tom Stoppard’s English adaptation of Gerald Sibleyras’ play Le Vent des Peupliers (The Wind in the Poplars), and winner of the 2006 Lawrence Olivier award for best new comedy.
The three-man play takes place on the isolated terrace of a French military hospital in 1959 where World War I veterans Gustave, Philippe, and Henri are spending the twilight of their lives. The trio passes each day in never-ending rounds of bickering, grousing about the staff (especially the 5-foot-tall Sister Marguerite, whom, rumor has it, harbours homicidal thoughts toward the patients), fantasizing about comely women and dreaming of escape.
"It’s a funny play, a gentle comedy that has been described as The Odd Couple for three," says director Andre Dimitrijevic. "I first saw this play a few years ago at a performance for high school students. I was surprised at how much they understood and enjoyed the play. Their laughter was contagious."
ITR regulars will recognize cast members Len Trembley and Dirk Visbach from a number of previous ITR plays. Although this is Joel Rahn's first appearance with ITR, he is a longstanding actor in the Ottawa area, having performed with Phoenix Players and Ottawa Little Theatre and most recently with the Greely Players in The Wizard of Oz.
Dimitrijevic himself has been involved with community theatre groups in Cumberland, Orleans, New Edinburgh, Nepean, Osgoode and Gatineau and first joined ITR in 2011 as an actor in Ghost of a Chance.
But Dimitrijevic points to writer Tom Stoppard as the true hero. "He’s a prolific writer who has won a number of awards, including four Tonys and an Oscar for his screenplay for the movie Shakespeare in Love," he says. "But what I particularly like about Stoppard is his rapier-sharp wit, dazzling use of language, and keen observations of human nature."
No matter what is going on in your world, you will forget it all while enjoying these 90 minutes of comic curmudgeonery, camaraderie and nostalgia, Dimitrijevic insists.
"You’ll come to care about the characters and you’ll be happier for having made the journey."
Play runs May 3-5 and May 9-11, tickets $18 adults, $15 seniors and students at the Osgoode Community Centre, 5660 Osgoode Main Street. Evening shows 7:30 p.m. Matinee Sunday, May 5th at 2 p.m. Dinner theatre performance will again feature caterer David Smith on Saturday, May 11 at 6 p.m., tickets $48. For more info email email@example.com. To purchase tickets visit www.itrtheatrecompany.com or call 613-860-1291.