Robert Moloney, Josette Jorge

Pi Theatre and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre’s original production, Except in the Unlikely Event of War, blends fact and fiction in three interweaving story lines, scattered across decades.

Written by Sean Devine (Re:Union), the darkly comic, distinctly Canadian work is a probing exploration of art, politics, and war – and the messy areas where they become indistinguishable.

“What stands out for me in Sean’s writing is a remarkable ability to address weighty, complex ideas through engaging stories and humour,” says Pi Theatre Artistic Director Richard Wolfe, who also directs and performs in the production. “Except in the Unlikely Event of War explores some of our most dire issues – government transparency, politicization of media, war as a means of societal control – but does so in the most entertaining way.”

Robert Moloney
[Robert Moloney]

Sean Devine’s satiric appraisal is carried out through three interweaving story lines:
The first, set in 1966 at a remote weather station in Canada’s arctic, follows a secret gathering of great minds to assess what the fall-out will be as society prepares for a world at peace. Their conclusions are terrifying, and anything but peaceful. The narrative is inspired by Leonard C. Lewin’s controversial 1967 work of fiction ‘Report from Iron Mountain: On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace,’ originally purported to be a top-secret document leaked by an anonymous whistleblower.

The second storyline leaps forward to a rapidly melting Canadian Arctic in 2015. During his nightly diatribe, the abrasively right-wing radio host Tommy Bane is interrupted by news that a surfaced Chinese submarine threatens war off the sovereign shores of Resolute Bay.

The third plot line enters the realm of meta-theatre, following playwright Sean Devine and director Richard Wolfe in 2013 as they prepare to present their highly political new play: Except in the Unlikely Event of War. A sudden and unexplained funding cut threatens the project, catalyzing the ensemble of artists towards radical action.

To execute this unique production, the companies have assembled a cast of local luminaries including Robert Moloney, Josette Jorge, and Lucia Frangione, in addition to Devine and Wolfe.

Except in the Unlikely Event of War

Dates: November 15 to 30; Tuesday to Saturday, 8 pm; Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, 2 pm

Preview: November 15, 8 pm; Opening: November 16, 8 pm
Venue: Roundhouse Performance Centre 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
Tickets: $16 Preview and matinees; $25 general admission; available online

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