There is nothing more satisfying than watching a production that so perfectly understands the text, that just lets the words be in the space, and uses smart and simple choices to elevate that language to a powerful experience for the audience. Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu is masterful in her direction of Mazin Elsadig, Daren A. Herbert, and Marcel Stewart in The Brothers Size at Soulpepper. The play is filled with oppositions; strength and vulnerability, loudness and extreme quiet, public and private…all of which contribute to this deep interrogation of what masculinity means, and more specifically, what black masculinity is. Every aspect of this production, from the gorgeous choreography to the near-perfect use of music (performed live by the amazing Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison) and sound manipulation that seamlessly moves us from the real into the hyper-real dreams of the characters, to the simplicity with which each actor approaches their most heightened moments, builds into this interrogation.
The tension builds and releases so beautifully, that when we reach the final moments, you can collectively feel the audience leaning in, terrified to know the choice that will be made, the fate that we know is inevitable (like Anouilh’s spring, it is wound up tight, and the results of that release are beyond anyone’s control).
Please, please, see this production. It is beautifully constructed and utterly crushing in all the best ways.