NSTF: Duel of Ages

Image courtesy of where.ca

Toronto – Weaponry of any kind seems to be kind of phallus extension. At the end of the day, duels are like a formalized way for men to unsheathe their members and do some comparing. The only thing that seems to have changed over the years is the size and shape of the –ahem- sword.

Duel of Ages makes that point brilliantly, in a show that takes the audience through what can only be described as an evolution of the art of the duel. We are led through nine vignettes whose centre-of-focus is a duel fought through brilliant stage combat. Some of the scenes are based on the true stories surrounding some of history’s most famous stand-offs, and others have had their stories written to complement the duel. (In truth, as swords historically become pistols, the fights become far less intricate, and need a strong story so as to be more than people just shooting guns at one another.) Look out for La Maupin for its brilliant choreography and The Pistoleers for excellent writing, character creation, and comedic timing.

The real belly of this show is the stage combat itself. True Edge Productions exists to promote the craft, and while the acting is very good, and the production values are high, it is when swords are drawn and missteps have stakes that these performers really flex their skills. They are the best at what they do, they love it, and it shows. I’d almost like to see more action and less talk in some of the scenes. Strangely, I liked Duel of Ages for the same reason I like Jersey Shore – the fighting.

For show times, check out the main Next Stage Theatre Festival site

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Posted on by guestwriter in Next Stage Theatre Festival

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