The RustWerk ReFinery (Montréal)
Adult and teen audience, 12 years +
The judge’s gavel resonates in the dark courtroom. Louis Riel sits in the prisoner’s dock. Revered, by some, scorned by others, he is on trial for treason and is fighting for his life. Based on Chester Brown’s acclaimed graphic novel, RustWerk ReFinery’s theatrical adaptation captures the artistry of the both playful and serious original source. Puppetry, a natural theatrical extension of the comic-book depiction, offers powerful perspectives, rich details and lively storytelling for such a fascinating and dramatic tale. Louis Riel comes to life in two-dimensional form as he cries in shadow-imagery and rallies his men through the actor’s voice. This live-action puppet adaptation of Chester Brown’s work is also inspired by the simple, two-dimensional cut-outs found in Elizabethan theatre.
DURATION: 90 min
TECHNIQUES: Paper cut-outs, Silhouettes and Shadows
Founded in 2007 by Zach Fraser and Attila Clemann, Rustwerk Refinery’s first show, … and stockings for the ladies, was a fringe hit that toured across Canada and in New York City. The founders share a background in physical theatre and puppetry. Both artists work in all aspects of the theatre, as stage directors, teachers, performers, playwrights and scenographers. They share a passion for a physical theatre that expresses as many emotions as it evokes, in a search for an exciting theatrical aesthetic that reveals the beauty of the human condition. Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography is published by Drawn & Quarterly in English and Les éditions de la Pastèque in French.
Story: Based on Chester Brown’s graphic novel
Adaptation, Puppets and Stage Direction: Zach Fraser
Dramaturgy: Attila Clemann
Scenography: Romain Fabre
Music: Tristan Capacchione
Lighting: Luc Prairie
Performers: Charles Bender, Anne Lalancette and Cat Lemieux