Esker Mike and his Wife, Agiluk
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Review excerpts
Factory Theatre Lab, Toronto, June 1971
Stark, engrossing tragedy….a drama of inevitability and strength.
Herb Whittaker, Globe and Mail

An atmosphere of believability.
- Victor Stanton, Canadian Press

Troupe, Vancouver, February 1972
A very fine play…the finest play I’ve seen among the body of Canadian work….fascinating, moving, and ultimately very beautiful.
- Ben Metcalfe, CBC Radio

A wealth of richly fashioned dialogue and a splendidly real set of character….starkly realistic.
- Christopher Dafoe, Vancouver Sun

Absolute joy and profound awareness that has held me since I saw “Esker Mike and his Wife, Agiluk” last night.
- Hagan Beggs, actor, in an open letter

Out of the evening comes compassion…acceptance of timelessness and immutability.
- James Barber, Vancouver Province

Factory Theatre Lab, Toronto, October 1972
A monumental achievement…a superb play….enormously rich.
- Urjo Kareda, Toronto Star

Oddly original…doesn’t fall into the predictable pattern…lingers in the mind.
- Grace Richardson, That’s Showbusiness.

The company was not very good….dead-panned and monotoned.
Lynn Slotkin, Excalibur (York University)

New Esker Mike version lacks its original drive.
- Herbert Whittaker, Globe and Mail

Factory Theatre Lab, London, England production, September-October 1973
An appalling look of veracity….has an anthropological fascination that compensates for its dramatic weaknesses.
- Michael Billington, The Guardian

Gallery Theatre, London, Ontario, November 1973

Manitoba Theatre Centre, February 1974

Kam Theatre Lab, Elliot Lake, Ontario, November 1975
Nothing but praise…first-rate.
- Elliot Lake Standard editorial

Creative Arts Board, University of Waterloo, March 1978

Troupe Showcase, New York, October 1978

Nunaksoamiut Players, Nain, Labrador, April 1986
Disturbing…left me with a feeling of helplessness…all the familiar horror stories of the rule of bureaucracy among native people.
- John Holmes, St. John’s Telegram

Canadian Rep, Toronto, May-June 1986
A poetic piece, full of striking images and symbolism, yet the action is direct, simple and emotionally charged…vibrancy, resonance, emotional power and relevance.
- Robert Crew, Toronto Star

In the light of the many and better-balanced lyrical dramas written since [its first production], its interest is now historical.
- Ray Conlogue, Globe and Mail

Globe and Mail February 1985 on the top five Canadian plays meriting a revival
(survey of writers, directors and administrators)

Brechtian, episodic, and has some of the best theatrical language ever written.
- Bob Wallace, editor Canadian Theatre Review

A particularly powerful vision of Canada
- Urjo Kareda, artistic director, Tarragon Theatre

A non-cliché vision of the north.
- Bob White, artistic director, Factory Theatre

Depicted a real confrontation between native cultures and government bureaucrats that made me think.
- Janet Amos, artistic director, Theatre New Brunwick
Copyright © Herschel Hardin 2005
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