Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices, Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth. – Katherine Mansfield
These words capture the essence of our work. We are dedicated to creating exceptional theatre that emerges from our imaginations. Katherine Mansfield has challenged us to explore artistic territories we have never explored. The delicate and concise arrangement of Mansfield’s words defies the rules of form and structure. Her writing is unique and Smith-Gilmour has created a unique piece of theatre that Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm called “…brilliant, touching…effective theatre” and Robert Crew, Toronto Star called “…fluid, polished, and delightfully imaginative…”
Katherine Mansfield is an exquisite and beautifully moving adaptation, full of passion, love, sexual awakening, innocence, longing, death and loss. With their inimitable, visually-arresting style, Gilmour and Smith capture Katherine Mansfield’s unsentimental dance of life and death.
The Daughters of the Late Colonel lived life as if in a tunnel and realized too late that life might have been different. In Prelude,Lottie, Kezia, Pip and Raggs go to see how the “Kings of Ireland” cut off the head of a duck. Carnation: Katie fantasizes about the workman just outside of the classroom window while Mister Hugo reads a little French poetry. Finally, in Six Years After, as the little steamer pushes forward through the desolate rain and cold, a woman cannot forget that her son is dead and there is nothing she can do for him.
Mansfield’s mysterious and delicate words are what attracted Gilmour and Smith. Her short stories are fragile and beautiful, sometimes cruel and cynical. Her passion for life intoxicates with images, scents and the tactile, like a garden in summer.
“Katherine Mansfield flenses away everything but the emotional essence of its source material, creating a laconic dream world punctuated by silence and frenetic movement. The effect is eerie. We’re not so much watching characters in a narrative, but witnessing the combination and confrontation of emotions. By boiling down Mansfield the writer’s complicated relationships and observations, the performers create a focused little lightning bolt of energy and some exhilarating theatrical moments.” – David Leyes, blogTO
“Katherine Mansfield adapts four stories in the company’s signature Commedia dell’arte style. We see spinster sisters coming to grips with their father’s death; a schoolgirl’s erotic daydream; a mother’s heartbreak at the loss of her soldier-son; and the cruel slaying of a duck. Mansfield’s fiction comes out well though the Smith-Gilmour wringer… The troop’s physicality makes the everyday emotive: a flurry of cacophonous meringue-crunching, for example, conveys profound uncertainty on the eve of hysterical grief.” – Shelia Hanlon, EYE Weekly