Marriage is a play by Russian playwright Nikolai Gogol, with the play first being published in 1842. This performance is by Unicorn Theatre based at the University of Ottawa. I was looking forward to the performance as I was seeing the show with no information regarding the background of the play.

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The plot follows recluse Podkolyosin as he is coerced into marriage by his friend Kochkaryov and matchmaker Fyolka, as marriage is a necessity to life. He competes for the love and attention of Agafya who also has another three possible suitors to marry, all with quirks of their own. The play is a farcical comedy which focuses on hyperbolic elements to illustrate the absurdity of the situation.

The set was the most amazing part of the experience for me, with bright bold colours and intricate patterns, it made the whole show stand out as exciting and creative. The costumes went hand in hand with the scenery, as each of the characters wore elaborate and somewhat clowning costumes.

With direction and adaptation by Nicholas Leno (with Yana Meerzon as another adaptor), the performance really made the most of the exaggerated nature of the text to create a complex and involved scene. The music used to connect scenes created a fast paced and restless atmosphere as the characters competed with each other for Agafya’s hand which was very effective.

Overall, Marriage was a highly comedic and hyperbolic performance, with high energy from the cast.

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