The recent Soulpepper re-mount of their revival production of David French's Jitters punched well above my expectations. I attended expecting a little nostalgia in a period-staged production, however was very surprised when the key ideas of the play -- those of Canadian artists' inherently self-deprecating natures, and of the idea that only those who leave are truly stars -- resonated as incredibly contemporary and relevant. These are still conversations that we have, and problems that we face, although I would suggest that these feelings are much more prominent now in the regions than in Toronto. Toronto artists (and to some extent, Montreal artists) have grown in to the confidence in their own work that does not need outside approval. Regional artists and companies, in my experience, are less so, depending on the validation of a director, actor, or first production elsewhere to be confident. This is changing, but I couldn't help but wonder how this play in today's world would have resonated differently for a regional audience. In Toronto, it played as a funny and honest homage to our past. Elsewhere it might look all too familiar to the present.
All this aside, the production is wonderfully performed and staged, and absolutely hilarious. So go see it!