Screaming at the Rafters


Screaming at the Rafters

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I recently reviewed three plays for  Canadian Literature: David Fennario’s Bolsheviki, George Walker’s King of Thieves, and Oscar Ryan’s Eight Men Speak.

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Here is an extract:

Eight Men Speak, Oscar Ryan`s 1933 political drama, was staged only once, has the dubious distinction of being the only play banned in Canada for political reasons.

On its first and last night at Toronto’s Standard Theatre, the audience booed when the orchestra played “God Save the King,” but cheered when “The Internationale” was performed. The reviews were mixed. The Varsity commented that “dramatically it was patchy, hit and miss and in many cases it relied on melodramatic tricks and parlour stunts for effects.” The Toronto Daily Star’s review focussed on the audience reaction rather on than the play itself. The Worker predictably declared it “an outstanding success.”

The only surviving photo of the play's original production. source: University of Guleph
The only surviving photo of the play’s original production. source: University of Guleph

The full review can be found here.

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