[20040053] The Overcoat

The Overcoat

CanStage @ Festival Theatre

7:30pm, Tue 2 Mar 2004

Score: 10

Short Review: (almost) Flawless

Wow. It’s rare that I can see such a large-scale, lavish production, and get totally immersed in the experience. The Overcoat, however, sucked me in from the outset.

Simple story, really – a downtrodden draftsman snaffles himself a nice new overcoat, and his life changes as a result. But the manner in which the story is told – no dialogue, constant musical score, wonderfully staged crowd scenes, creative direction – make this a true aural and visual delight.

The attention to detail in this production is staggering – when the stage lights are all forward, characters still create a hubub behind the screens at the back of the stage… even the final cast-call is superbly done. Costumes are spectacular, the sets are both simple and clever… and the acting… the acting! Peter Anderson puts in a sublime performance as The Man, every facial expression adding to the story.

In fact, if I had to draw fault with The Overcoat in any way, it would be that the ending is quite sudden, and doesn’t really create a sense of closure. But that’s just a minor nit-pick – I left the theatre absolutely elated after this production. This is, without doubt, the best Festival flagship production for many a year.

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