Noble Parasites, the show closing Passe Muraille’s 06/07 season, has the distinction not only of being the last play of the theatre’s 39th season, but also of being the last play produced by the theatre under the leadership of longtime artistic director Layne Coleman. It was recently announced that Tarragon Associate Artistic Director Andy McKim will be taking over from Layne beginning next season. Happily for Layne, he is ending his term at Passe Muraille on a high note with Parasites, a smart, funny sci-fi double-bill.
Each of these twisted little black comedies star Kate Hewlett, Julian Richings and the delightful Amy Rutherford. The first play is about a distant future where humans live underground, can count the number of plants and animals still in existence on their fingers and anticipate their bodies becoming “hosts” for “noble parasites.” The second play is set in a nearer future, where video games, MRIs and geopolitics all merge into one big mess. A few clever threads tie these stories together, making the first play the possible eventual outcome of the second.
Beyond being an original and entertaining piece of theatre, Noble Parasites helps solve a serious social problem. Torontoist suspects that there are an awful lot of theatre chicks out there who have sci-fi dudes as boyfriends. These theatre chicks probably have a hell of time tearing their sci-fi dudes away from their BSG DVDs to go see the new Healey or a post-modern Ibsen-riff. Despair no more, theatre chicks! Here, finally, is a play that your boyfriend will not only not fall asleep in the middle of, but will actually totally love and talk to you afterwards about how he “didn’t know plays could be like that.” You’ll love the clever stagecraft, and he’ll love the dystopian fantasy. It’s a win-win situation, theatre chicks!