On Wednesday night, One Reed Theatre remounted last year’s SummerWorks hit Nor the Cavaliers Who Come With Us. (Side salad: this year’s SummerWorks line-up gets posted on their website this Sunday – who’s excited?) Their run last summer was sold-out, and if opening night’s full house was an indication, this looks to be another well-attended run. And with good reason.
Nor the Cavaliers Who Come With Us is a collective piece created by the company about Mexico’s past and present. The story shifts back and forth between Hernan Cortez‘s conquest of the Aztecs and a young Canadian student’s experiences visiting his aunt Joanne in modern-day Mexico. The cast consists of four actors (Frank Cox-O’Connell, Megan Flynn, Marc Tellez and Evan Webber), all of whom play multiple roles and all of whom approach the work with remarkable energy and physicality. They shift through centuries, exploring their subject matter through dramatic scenes, songs and some rather impressive contact improv.
The show is performed in-the-round with a few essential and often brilliantly transformed props. Collective creation with weak direction can often veer into scary, indulgent places, but that never happens to Cavaliers, deftly helmed by Daniel Mroz. The lighting, the actors and the text all come together to form a beautifully cohesive whole. Even if the story becomes hard to follow at parts, it is always compelling to watch.
This show is a complete delight to watch and any future work by One Reed Theatre is bound to be worth checking out. Also, if you buy a ticket to the show, you can keep it and come back again as many times as you like, provided the performance isn’t already sold out. Let’s hope it’s hard to re-use those tickets.