Thursday, February 22, 2018

Satirical revue about Canada fun and educational

November 6, 2017 by Adam Marsh, student editor

By the time I found parking and walked across the University of Victoria’s Ring Road on Saturday, November 4—a cold fall night—I was happy to be in the warm Farquhar Auditorium to catch the satirical revue Canada, It’s Complicated. But I still didn’t quite know what to expect, aside from some satire about our country.

Canada, It’s Complicated begins with a video of people talking about what it means to be Canadian; it isn’t funny, but the humour picks up quickly.

Canada, It’s Complicated is equal parts humour and education (photo by Greg Locke).

When host Jamie Pitt takes the stage, she quickly begins poking fun at Canadian traditions in the usual ways: we love our double-doubles from Tim’s, we say “sorry” more than people from other countries, etc. But things get serious quick, as we are reminded that we as Canadians have a lot to be sorry for, considering we took the land that Canada is on from people who were willing to share then promptly told them to hush up and leave us to our ways. That’s the beauty of this show: sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s educational, but usually it’s both.

There is singing and dancing, and a bit of guitar; the lyrical catchphrase is “the foundation of our nation is a big fat lie!” But at times the movement of characters on stage, combined with the guitar playing and singing, feels a little bit out of place, as though the jovial, care-free nature of these parts of the show are not satire but a big middle finger to Canadian traditions. The dialogue is usually funny and the dancing and singing gives the show a bit of a kick when it needed one.

During this particular night, the microphones glitched out occasionally and when the characters spoke in French, the English subtitles lagged behind what they were actually saying. But all in all, Canada, It’s Complicated is a clever way to show the value of living in a free country that knows the importance of taking a good joke in a world that is getting harder and harder to laugh at.

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