• By: Jennifer Hartley

Get Your Politics On With Generous at the GCTC

All photos courtesy of Pascal Huot

The Great Canadian Theatre Company is opening its season with a solid hit of political theatre. Generous, by award-winning Canadian playwright Michael Healey, is a great play to see at any time, but it’s a special treat during an election campaign.

Generous at first appears to be four individual stories dealing with power, sex and politics but are, in the end, all linked. It opens with a prime minister and his cabinet ministers in hysteria over losing a budget vote with hilarious, witty discussions and outrageous reactions. Another plot involves a judge who has an affair with a young, naive law clerk, who happens to know the judge’s estranged daughter. The fourth involves a ruthless, philandering oil executive’s journey from the private sector to politics. Each story explores some of the great and flawed sides of human behaviour and leaves it up to you to decide which comes out on top. In an interesting twist, the powerful characters in control (with the exception of the prime minister in the first scene) are women.

Matt Cassidy (Richard), Katie Ryerson (Lily) and Adam Pierre (Scotty Nguyen). Photo courtesy of Pascal Huot.
Matt Cassidy (Richard), Katie Ryerson (Lily) and Adam Pierre (Scotty Nguyen). Photo courtesy of Pascal Huot.

The sharp dialogue is fantastic, as can be expected from Healey (who won a Dora Award for Generous). All four plots include some raw elements and some risqué content, not for the faint of heart but nevertheless entertaining. However, one may be left with a sense that something is left undone, or that the plots end up disjointed or disconnected in some way. Regardless, it is still a great play.

The whole cast offer superb performances. Marion Day is brilliant as ruthless, yet somehow likeable, oil executive Julia. Katie Ryerson is, as per usual, fantastic. In Generous, she plays Lily, Judge Maria’s strong-willed daughter. Her frosty cold mother Maria, in turn, is brought to life beautifully by Kristina Watt. The male actors also deserve kudos. In particular, Drew Moore is perfectly annoying as naive, self-absorbed law clerk Alex.

You can catch Generous until September 27. Tickets available at gctc.ca.