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MATTHEW’S REVIEW - Moby Dick: A Story-Telling Adaptation @ Ottawa Fringe 2013

Moby Dick: A Story-Telling Adaptation is a one-man show by Dean Verger who steps into the shoes of Ishmael and recounts the events as they play out chronologically in the novel Moby Dick. For those of you who have never read Moby Dick, to make a long story short, a whaling captain, Captain Ahab, battled a great white sperm whale that some other sailor had named Moby Dick, the whale took his leg, and so he decided he would dedicate the rest of his life to finding the whale and killing it.

Should you see it?

TwoDean earnestly steps out onto stage, in a simple getup, and launches immediately into his story: “My name is Ishmael, I am no poet, but I am here to tell you a tale…” Dean is soft spoken and simple in his movements. He stays to one spot on the stage for his hour and presents… unfortunately the story doesn’t quite come to life.

At first Dean stumbled a few times, but he managed to grab a hold of the material after the first few minutes and continue his recitation. Every so often he would jump over the introduction of characters or events and have to backtrack at a later point to explain what their name was, or where they fit in originally, and some of the side stories that Dean brought out in his re-telling felt out of place, adding a lot of detail and description into unimportant events and neglecting the detail when it felt important.
Overall I wasn’t captivated. Sure, I’ve read Moby Dick before, and so many of the characters are powerful. They command a presence through their dialogue, and this hour felt like it lacked direction.

According to the program there was also supposed to be musical accompaniment throughout the story, which didn’t happen, and was a bit of a disappointment as well.

But that’s just my opinion and I’d like to know what you think. Tell me in the comments below.

If you would like to check out Moby Dick: A Story-Telling Adaptation you can find out when the show times are here:

About Matthew Champ

Matthew Champ is the lead movie reviewer for Production Ottawa's Should You See It team, making sure that you know whether or not these movies or plays are worth spending your time or money on. He is also on 101.9 Dawg FM every Friday morning at 7:10 AM chatting movies with Dylan Black. You can follow him on Twitter @matthewschamp.


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