Two great shows to see this weekend

Hunter Gatherers, Pippa Mackie, Jay Clift

Pippa Mackie and Jay Clift are livin’ la vida del carne in Hunter Gatherers

They’re really different and they’re both really good: Saint Joan at the Stanley and Hunter Gatherers at the Havana. 

Saint Joan is a great big show loaded with serious talent and serious ideas (George Bernard Shaw-size ideas). I’ve been getting flak on about being too political in my reviews. But, if you can’t connect the dots between the silencing of Joan’s individualism and the Harper government’s attempts to curtail personal freedoms and to undermine democracy, then I’m afraid I can’t help you.

Fantastic direction from Kim Collier. Fab set by Pam Johnson. Ridiculous depth of talent in the large cast. Particularly exceptional work from Meg Roe as Joan and Dean Paul Gibson as the Earl of Warwick.

When it all adds up, Saint Joan is very moving.

Over at the Havana, Hunter Gatherers is different in may ways—it’s tiny and it’s irreverent—but it’s also excellent.

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s script is a comedy about the unleashing of some very uncivilized impulses—over dinner. Expect violence. Expect sex. Expect laughs.

Peter Carlone is not to be missed as the downtrodden Tom, and Jay Clift, who just keeps proving how versatile he is, is hilarious as the overbearing Richard. Pippa Mackie is also strong as the meek Pam.

The set by up and coming designer Carolyn Rapanos is a little jewel of resourcefulness and style.

These two shows could hardly be more different in tone—and Hunter Gatherers is definitely easier to consume than Saint Joan—but both are very satisfying.

About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.


  1. Linking Mr. Shaw’s work with the contemporary political scene is something I am certain “George Bernard” would be quite happy about. His writing, his insights into the human psyche and the foibles of social institutions and its leaders, secular and non-secular, are universal. Connecting the dots is always a good thing. Wordsworth’s definition of the creative imagination: the abiltity to perceive “the similarities in the dissimilarities”.

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