I, Claudia

Presented by Arts Club Theatre, I, Claudia is actress Lili Beaudoin’s moment in the spotlight! This one-act, one-woman play is an engaging, thoughtful, entertaining and at times sheer silly look at life as seen through a 12-year-old’s eyes.

I, Claudia

We begin with a janitor turning on a radio at the corner of the stage and fumbling to find his way back through the thick curtain on the BMO Theatre Centre stage.

Within a few moments, the curtains are pulled open by Beaudoin, playing a thickly-accented Eastern European janitor, the first of four characters that she dives into during the show.

I, Claudia

With the aid of a full-length mirror, Beaudoin deftly transforms into Claudia, the bumbling, awkward pre-teen that becomes the focal point of the 90-minute production.

Of the four characters, it’s Claudia that brings the biggest bang to the show. Rest assured that this talented actress knows how to bring oomph to each role, complimented by the absurdist facial expressions in those masks.

I, Claudia

Recurring themes of childhood loneliness (her goldfish and her father are her sole mates), divorce, adulting as a single woman and a compulsion for drugs (!) enter the landscape to keep the audience entertained throughout.

Claudia has some riveting observations, including this to say about her future step mother: “She is like the crap on the bottom of my Mom’s shoes”.

Heipo C.H. Leung’s industrial set serves the purpose of all characters involved, as the main prop really is the full length mirror, and Beaudoin’s array of masks, designed by Melody Anderson. The characters morph from one to the next via Music and Sound Designer Ben Elliott’s aural landscape.

I, Claudia

Playwright Kristen Thomson is a talented actor and writer for theatre, film and television. She’s also the winner of four Dora awards, two ACTRA awards, two Canadian Comedy awards, a Genie, a Gemini and a Leo.

I, Claudia was also adapted into a film that was featured both on CBC and at the Toronto International Film Festival.

I, Claudia

Directed by Marie Farsi (making her Arts Club directorial debut), I, Claudia continues at the Newmont Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre through August 15.

Theatre attendees, bear in mind that certain seats are left empty in order to comply with physical distancing and masks are recommended in the lobby and washrooms. There’s also no bar service available at this time. Still, it’s great to re-enter the world of theatre following a maddening 16-month pause.

Photos by Moonrider Productions.

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