War and Peace at the Edmonton Fringe Festival!
Skip the Book, See the Play!
Monster Theatre presents the world premiere of War and Peace, a one-man adaptation by 16 year Fringe veteran Ryan Gladstone. Join Ryan as he takes the audience on a journey through the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace, and the 632 characters it contains, as well as the life of Tolstoy himself.
War and Peace is the most written about novel of all time, and yet, its full meaning escapes us… until now! Over the course of re-enacting the story, Ryan tries to pinpoint the true meaning of the book. Bouncing between concepts like Tolstoy’s theories on the nature of history (“A king is history’s slave.”), success (“All success is a mirage.”), self-improvement (“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”), wisdom (“The only thing that we know is that we know nothing.”) and the power of love (“everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.”). In the end we realise that War and Peace’s true beauty lies in its 10 000 simple moments. Pierre sharing a potato. Andrei noticing the sky for the first time. Natasha climbing in bed with her mother to talk about a boy. Princess Marya holding her weeping father like a child.
In the irreverent, hilarious and immaculately researched Monster Theatre style, Gladstone sucks the audience in via the promise of the ridiculous and herculean task of portraying the entirety of the 1444 page tome using nothing more than a single actor, some funny voices and handful of sound effects. Over the course of the play however he slowly unravels the deeper meanings, the profound epiphanies, the relevancies to today and finding all the parallels to the tragic and triumphant echos in Tolstoy’s own life. Monster Theatre’s version of War and Peace straddles the line between comedy and tragedy, farce and sermon, low brow stand-up and history lesson.
“Ryan Gladstone soars as a solo performer. His comfort level with the material and the spotlight allows moments of spontaneity, giving each show a lot of life.”-Laura Glowacki, CBC Manitoba
Ryan lives and works in Vancouver and holds an MFA in Directing from UBC. This is his sixth solo play, in addition to No Tweed Too Tight, Every Story Ever Told, The Seven Lives of Louis Riel, Napoleon’s Secret Diary (also inspired by War and Peace) and Confessions of a Class Clown (Monster Theatre). Recent Directing credits: Hunter Gatherers (Staircase Theatre), Ubu Roi (UBC) and Hell of a Girl (rEvolver Festival). Recent Writing/Directing credits include Til Death: The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Who Killed Gertrude Crump?, Assassinating Thomson, Houdini’s Last Escape (Monster Theatre).
“Writer/performer Ryan Gladstone is super-skilled.”- Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier
Monster Theatre was founded by Ryan Gladstone in 2000 and has since created over 30 original productions, touring our award-winning works locally, regionally and nationally. The company started on the Canadian Fringe circuit, and quickly became known as one of Canada’s top Fringe companies. The focus eventually shifted towards creation & development, using the Fringe circuit to prepare the shows for main-stage productions at theatre companies & larger festivals across Canada, including Project X (Kelowna), Manitoba Theatre for Young People (Winnipeg) and Theatre SKAM (Victoria).
Edmonton Fringe Festival, August 11-21, 2016 | Dates & Times: Friday, August 12 3:30 PM, Saturday, August 13 5:15pm, Sunday, August 14 12:00pm, Monday, August 15 3:30pm, Tuesday, August 16 7:00pm, Thursday, August 18 10:30pm, Friday, August 19 8:45pm, Saturday, August 20 5:15pm, Sunday, August 21 5:45pm| Box Office: https://tickets.fringetheatre.ca/index.php