Tag Archives: theatre review

My Rabbi makes for riveting drama

My Rabbi

A play co-created by Joel Bernbaum and Kayvon Kelly

Directed by Julie McIsaac

The Belfry Theatre, Sept. 16-28, 2014

Reviewed by Joy Fisher

When a Jew and a Muslim walk into a bar in My Rabbi, two old friends rediscover each other. But can they revive and maintain their friendship in a time when Palestinians and Israelis are locked in conflict? That’s the central question of the play. Their struggle makes for riveting drama.

Co-created and acted by Joel Bernbaum (Jake) and Kayvon Kelly (Arya), the play races along as it explores the question in a series of short scenes. The two actors capably take on other roles to advance the narrative. In one scene, Bernbaum plays a brutal interrogator; the snap of Arya’s broken finger is audible and convincing. Character changes were clear and convincing, testament to the talent of both of these actors.

The setting is spare—a table, a couple of chairs—a classic set-up for great theatre. And, in this play, that’s exactly what emerges.

My Rabbi is described as a comedic drama, and humour (too often sexist humour) leavens the drama. But I had tears streaming down my face for much of the 60-minute show, as the two characters struggled with increasing difficulty to be supportive of one another as they each faced life’s trials. In a monologue near the end of the play, Jake, by then a rabbi, questions how hate can be resisted in this polarized and polarizing world.

The play offers no easy answers, but the playwrights wisely disrupt the chronology to leave the audience with a glimpse of a happier time. The final scene is a flashback to a moment just before Arya is to leave on a cultural exploration of his father’s homeland, Syria. Jake celebrates with him. They clink drinks and salute each other. “L’Chaim,” they say—to life!

Kelly and Bernbaum, collector and editor of last season’s popular verbatim theatre presentation Home is a Beautiful Word, sketched out a first draft of the scenes in a pub after graduating from the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria in 2008. The characters were initially based on themselves (Bernbaum is of Jewish descent and Kelly, whose last name was formerly Khoskan, Iranian). But the play developed over the next six years into an exploration of what might happen if two formerly non-religious friends embarked on very different journeys of religious discovery in a world where adherents to their respective faiths are locked in mortal combat.

In 2009, the play had its first reading as part of Puente Theatre’s WorkPlay series, and, in 2011, it was featured at the Belfry’s Spark! Festival. The finished work was well-received in its world premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August during the height of the most recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. The current run at the Belfry is the Canadian premiere. After it closes in Victoria, it will play at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre from Oct. 7-18.

Do yourself a favour and go see this play before it closes in Victoria on Sunday (Sept. 28). You’ll be glad you did.

True West a true hit

True West by Sam Shepard

Directed by Britt Small

November 19 – December 1, 2013

The Roxy Theatre

Nadia Grutter

“Did they do a good job of it?” someone asked me after I saw Blue Bridge Theatre’s November 19, 2013 rendition of Sam Shephard’s True West. Absolutely, was my reply. The play was one of the best productions I’ve seen in Victoria. And that is why this is going to be a spoiler review. If it isn’t enough to read that this play is fantastic and buy yourself tickets, read on, but know that I’m revealing some of the juiciest bits.

The play shows estranged brothers and Lee and Austin, who find themselves housesitting their mother’s suburban home…together. Austin is trying to negotiate with a Hollywood producer despite Lees constant interjections and eventual undermining of the project. Directed by Britt Small, this comedy explores the differences and similarities between the two within the tense confines of reconciliation.

The show has incredible attention to detail, from sound and set to costume. The set is a kitsch yellow kitchen, with a fully stocked fridge and pan-stacked cupboards. On the table are dog-eared books beside a functional typewriter (which is later de-ribboned and later still, destroyed with a golf club). In the back corner are potted plants, which are effectively killed as well. In one scene Austin steals a series of toasters, which are plugged into the stage and nearly pop toast into the front row. Lee wears a leopard print belt, Denis’ hair comes loose as he drinks, cricket sounds taunt Lee half into madness and their mother’s bright blue eye shadow makes her character twice as hilarious. To all involved designers: well done.

While the acting was generally impressive, Paul Fauteux’s stage presence was a force to be reckoned with. His portrayal of the bat-out-of-hell Lee took the fiction out of Lee’s character and made me believe in the the wide-stanced, expressive delinquent in front of me. I was nervous that he might jump down and teach me a lesson if I looked at him the wrong way. What made Fauteux’s performance so believable was the humanity with which he played Lee. He understood the character so well that when a chair unexpectedly fell over in the middle of a scene, he kicked it.

Jacob Richmond’s character, Austin, was supposed to be more static, but his comedic timing seemed off—but only when his character was sober. Drunk Austin was hilarious. At one point Fauteux knocks a plate of toast out of his hands. Richmond proceeds to crawl around the stage and earnestly reassemble the tower of toast. His bewilderedness made me also believe that reassembling that stack of toast was of the utmost importance, and I quietly egged him on from the front row. My only complaint was that, despite their tumultuous relationship, the two characters yelled too much. Both actors demonstrated the ability to dynamically handle emotional material, and I would have liked to see them deliver those highly emotional lines with less volume and more feeling.

True West is not to be missed—seriously. Do yourself a favour and visit Blue Bridge at The Roxy for an evening of laughs, tears and toast.

Nadia Grutter is a freelance writer and editor living in Victoria.

Contemporary Shakespeare worth the hiccups

A Tender Thing by Ben Power

Directed by Peter Hinton

November 5- December 8, 2013

The Belfry Theatre

Review by Nadia Grutter

“Give me the light.”

Lights up on Romeo as an aged man. He stands with his hands open by his sides, eyes fixed on his gaunt beloved. Juliet lies in a queen-sized, covers pulled up around her bare shoulders. Her white hair is pushed back from her wizened face. She is dying.

The November 7, 2013 North American premiere of Ben Powers’ A Tender Thing captured the audience…for the most part.  Powers’ contemporary twist on Shakespeare’s tragedy shows Romeo and Juliet as an old couple attempting to save their love against time and illness in classical Shakespearean dialogue. But while the lighting, sound, set and acting impressed individually, the lacklustre couple detracted from the play.

But before I get to that, I’d like to congratulate lighting designer Robert Thomson and sound designer Brooke Maxwell for an unforgettable dream-like ambiance mixed with ethereal and realistic light and sound. The play opened and closed with deep cello instrumentals, which enhanced the inherent darkness in the play.

But in dark there was light: Maxwell incorporated classic love songs, like “I Only Have Eyes For You” by The Flamingos while Thompson illuminated the stage with water-like projections.  I thought the water lighting was particularly effective, as it reflected the fluid, eternal nature of Romeo and Juliet’s love. Most importantly, the lighting/sound indicated changes in time, which fast-forwarded and rewound throughout the play. This is what I took issue with: without the strong lighting and sound, I think the audience may have become confused as to where they were within the story.

The set was impressive as well. The walls of stage left and right were two giant mirrors, expanding the stage into a reflective landscape. Juliet’s bed was portable, and made for some fun moments with Romeo scooting the bed around the stage in an infatuated stupor. Other props included two chairs (which went largely unused and made me question their significance) and a massive wooden door set back in centre stage. The free standing wooden door symbolized death, release, enlightenment or all of the above, and loomed ominously in the background as a latent reminder of the couple’s impending fate.

And Peter Anderson! The actor as Romeo kept the audience laughing, and sometimes crying, with his charisma and earnestness. Claire Coulter was less demanding as Juliet and didn’t project well. She did, however, skillfully alter her voice according to her age. Together the actors didn’t seem to click. Maybe it was nerves; maybe it was an off night. But as two of the most famous lovers in literary history, their display of passion was disappointing.

The end of Powers’ play was both surprising and inevitable, which is a difficult balance to strike. A little shocking, too. I won’t give it away. I’d see the play again, if not just for the ending, to see experience atmosphere heightened with the love I have faith Coulter and Anderson can more strongly portray.



A triumph of battlefields and bed sheets


 At Theatre Inconnu

 Starring Clayton Jevne

 Adapted by Clayton Jevne from Robert Nye’s novel

 Oct. 4 – 19th


Reviewed by Leah Callen


 Sex!  And now that Falstaff has your attention, let the laughter guide you somewhere unexpectedly divine.  Clayton Jevne is incredibly authentic as he fills the boots of John Fastolf, a lusty English knight who is said to have inspired Shakespeare’s Falstaff.  As he tells us tall tales about his wars and whores in rich detail, this one-man confession had me laughing, blushing, and crying.  With characters such as Pistol and Shallow, you’re bound to crack a smile. 


This storytelling is unapologetically profane, but surprisingly sacred and poetic at the same time. As Fastolf relives every sexual exploit of his life from the cradle to old age, we hear episodes that are both pornographic and beautiful – from a young woman’s creamy breasts and cherry nipples, to the butterflies that magically burst out of a bishop’s hand.   Just when one may get too uncomfortable with all the innuendo about his “soldier,” “in a flash of sack” the story takes a soulful turn.  Don’t let the prim music at the start fool you, though.  Hold onto your seats!  I felt my cheeks glowing in the dark.


Fastolf shares an intriguing point of view on some of the most famous medieval battles, witnessed from the edges of history. Audience members can get a little lost on this history map if they don’t have a built-in compass for it, but the accounts are so vivid that it doesn’t matter. While he miraculously conquers the French by throwing jewels and herrings at them, philandering Fastolf is conquered by chaste women. The saints slay his heart. Jevne paints a stunning image of Joan of Arc that is beyond human and, to me, the most bewitching part of the narrative. 


Jevne’s full costume reminded me of a naughty Puss in Boots.   The character certainly tries to spin his life in magical proportions, moving from the mindless thrusts of youth to the far sight of age.  But Fastolf travels a touching arc from a hyperbolizing hedonist to one humbled.  We see both a public and private persona in this play – a man embellished with bravado and the bare soul hiding inside him.  As he spins these far-out tales, Jevne creates an iconic pose, his lower half leading the way.  It suggests a character led by his worldly appetites.  But he is reduced to his knees before God, turning away from the audience.  The faceless humility of that pose is striking. 


Though the protagonist is larger than life, Jevne’s masterful acting never fell into caricature.  There was a natural flow to all his facial expressions and gestures that made the whole show feel genuine.  It was enthralling, watching him light up with lust and melt gently into tears.  Perhaps this play’s final wish is for us to be more promiscuous in our compassion and love for other human beings.  When our lives fade out, which will be the most powerful memories left behind: our selfish joys or our random acts of humanity?


Leah Callen is an MFA student at UVic.




Play cures sweet tooth

The Golden Dragon
Theatre Inconnu until May 18, 2013
Written by Roland Schimmelpfennig
Translated by David Tushingham
Directed by Clayton Jevne

Reviewed by Leah Callen

When I sat down in the theatre, I had a bag of sugar-coated Fuzzy Peaches in my purse–candy that I sucked on as I walked to Fernwood. Little did I know the challenge my vice was about to undergo. The Golden Dragon is an avant-garde fable featuring industrious, ant-like workers in an Asian restaurant where everything is always served hot–whether it’s the Thai soup or the sex slave. Shiny woks and dark holes dot the abstract set as the cooks stir up trouble inside and around the Golden Dragon, a place where humanity hungers but is never satisfied. At times, the actors bang the woks with percussive force that is both dynamic and jarring: beware if you have hearing aids!

The story starts with a young Asian man howling with a fierce toothache. His whole mouth is black, perhaps because of his lifelong craving for candy or for home. His fellow chefs decide to yank out the tooth no matter what the consequence; we are quickly shown how all the little choices we make in life add up like ingredients in a recipe. A series of exploitative relationships play out as people will accept almost anything to relieve their emptiness. There are three kinds of patrons at this metaphorical restaurant: those who dish out pain to subdue their own, those who walk away from it, and those who swallow it.

An inventive retelling of Aesop’s fable of the hardworking ant and the carefree cricket takes such a dark turn that your mind will spin. It could even go so far as to represent capitalism’s exploitation of art. The Golden Dragon’s menu comes with a warning: beware of people who will chew you up like a cherry and spit you out like a stone. It’s all point of view: one man’s rotten tooth is another’s lucky dragon; someone’s pain tastes delicious to another.

With some clever, unexpected casting, actors express nontraditional gender. Michael Romano’s fragility as a stewardess and The Woman in the Red Dress was truly touching (he has a lovely voice). Mily Mumford straddled both innocence and arrogance as the Young Asian Man and the Barbie-Fucker. Blair Moro was the epitome of pathos as the pitiful cricket, his chopstick feeler ripped out by the unfeeling. Bingdon Kinghorn and Catriona Black spiced up the story with enjoyable Yang energy. It was curious how characters punctuate their dramatic speeches by announcing each short pause. It’s both comedic and heartbreaking, as characters hesitate to construct their truth. Is all life a script where we speak the lines we think we should or are we always genuine?

At first fragmented and unrelated, the scenes link eventually in heart-stopping ways. The real and surreal mix as the playwright heats everyone up in his paper wok. I just wish there was more of a hook at the beginning. The deceivingly prosaic set-up tries the patience somewhat. At first the fable came across as cute when it was anything but; the production builds up to beautiful choreography that is physical poetry.

Theatre Inconnu productions always stir up the audience emotionally and psychologically. The Golden Dragon challenges us to ask ourselves: are you a caged, self-destructive cricket or an angry, sadistic ant? It’s a warning to not fall into either of those holes. And after watching what happens to those who indulge their cravings, I think this play cured me of my candy addiction. For now.

Leah Callen is a poet-playwright-screenwriter graduating with a BFA any second now at the University of Victoria.

Power behind performances convinces

Theatre for Living
March 8-24
Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver
Ended March 24, 2013

Reviewed by Mark Leiren-Young

Almost thirty years ago David Diamond began drawing inspiration from global theatrical innovator Augusto Boal, creator of “Theatre of the Oppressed,” to inspire his work with Vancouver’s Headlines Theatre. After working with Boal–one of a handful of people on the planet to have pioneered an internationally recognized form of theatre–Diamond created his own way to tell stories with local communities and developed his own form, “Theatre for Living.” It’s not as catchy a name as “Theatre of the Oppressed,” but it’s catching on worldwide. It’s the name of his book, written at Boal’s urging, and also the new name of the theatre company formerly known as Headlines.

Theatre for Living the company made its debut March 8 at the Firehall with Maladjusted–a show designed to explore the challenges facing Canadian mental health care in an age where all systems are becoming less personal and more . . . systems.

A Theatre for Living production works in two acts.

Act one tells a story full of complications. In this case a teenaged girl, who may be clinically depressed or may simply be grieving, is diagnosed by a doctor who looks at the chart without ever looking at the girl or her needy and likely alcoholic mother. Meanwhile the doctor’s co-worker–a social worker with a heart of gold but no time to have a heart–tries to help a guy off the streets and into home care. The catch? He’s on prescription meds and the only available room is in a place that’s all about drug rehab and takes his meds away to be assessed and approved by a doctor who’s never there. Problems ensue, followed by chaos.

In Act Two members of the audience get to yell “freeze” and insert themselves in the action, replacing the character they relate to in the hopes of finding a solution.

The actors are cast by Diamond after creating the material through a workshop process that translates their own experiences, and the experiences of dozen of others into theatre.

And while the acting in the show is uneven, the power behind the performances is unmistakable. Theatre for Living productions open with built-in gravitas–not just because they explore vital issues, but because they engage communities in searching for solutions.

In this case someone was on hand to record all the suggestions and interactions in order to create what Diamond told me is, “a policy document that suggests either implementation or removal of policies that would enhance human-centered care in mental health–the policies having been articulated via the theatre process, the voice of people living the issues.”

The results will be presented to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and the Canadian Nurses Association. So audiences don’t just get the chance to see a play, but potentially affect public policy–which seems like the perfect ride from Theatre of the Oppressed to Theatre of the Empowered.


Mark Leiren-Young is a playwright, filmmaker and author who lives in Vancouver


Good Grief! Someone Get These Kids Some Ice Cream

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
The Phoenix Theatre
Based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Clark Gesner
Directed by Fran Gebhard
Ends March 23

Reviewed by Leah Callen

From the first puffy cloud, there was something unsettling about this musical take on the Peanuts gang. As the characters sang, “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown,” they took turns slinging playful insults at him. Freud would have a field day with this play. The story is a strange sundae with childlike cheer and rousing musical numbers layered on top of existential angst. Characters struggle against childlike melancholy in the pursuit of happiness, as each ice cream scoop in their lives falls off the cone to the sidewalk. As Charlie suffers from unrequited love pangs for the Little Red-Haired Girl and bangs his head against a tree, Sally sees the futility in skipping, and Linus’s addiction to his blue blanket causes a full-blown Busby Berkeley-esque intervention. Lucy charges Charlie to console him, reminding us that friendship costs.

Like the comic strip upon which it is based, the story runs in a series of vignettes. The striking lighting, costumes, and set had a fantastic, surreal feel. Their sculpted, slick wigs reminded me of the homicidal, plasticine-haired people in the film Heavenly Creatures, a nice touch since these cartoon children are a strong mix of bitter and sweet. Live musical accompaniment on a grand piano, the energetic choreography, and musical numbers ranging from operatic to jazzy were the sprinkles and cherry on this musical treat.

Kale Penny sang with gentle artistry as the frustrated Charlie Brown. My childhood crush on dramatic, intellectual Schroeder remained intact.   Derek Wallis wore that wig and conducted the rest of the cast masterfully in the number “Beethoven Day,” a staggered chorus piping out the composer’s Fifth–pure magic. Francis Melling played Linus like a depressed Buddha who is under-appreciated.

Kevin Eade’s Snoopy was a howl, exposing the dark underbelly of the cartoon canine as he confesses his secret desire to bite someone. He was the cool, aloof guy in the pack, a beagle beatnik. I really just wanted to pet his furry head. Snoopy’s suppertime serenade was sung with charismatic soul, like a puppy version of the Rum Tum Tugger. And Snoopy’s flying doghouse scene, as he cursed the Red Baron, was a highlight.

This play has a one-dimensional take on female characters, even for cartoons. Lucy and Sally are written as overbearing princesses constantly bullying others. In a classic scene, Tea Siskin as Lucy perches on Schroeder’s piano like a frilly barfly, trying to make him into the man of her dreams–every man’s nightmare. Christie Stewart was a spring as tightly wound as her yellow ringlets in the role of Sally. Both actresses are clearly talented singers. However, the intentional helium-squeak in their voices was a gimmick that wore thin for me; it only added to shrillness of their characterization. It limited them from truly showing off their voices while singing and I, frankly, worried about their vocal cords. The male leads did not have to suffer the same vocal gymnastics.

Athletic, forthright, Peppermint Patty, played by spritely Veronique Piercy, was the one female role that could have been a refreshing contrast to the stereotyping, but she never got to be centre-stage. I really wish she had. As amusing and imaginative as the play was, the story seemed to be less about Charlie and more of a comment on gender. This could be very clever if not for the sexist overtones. After a while, I was silently wishing Snoopy would lose control and bite someone. This version of the famous comic is a cynical one, but the song and dance are the delightful chocolate sauce that sweeten the bananas.


Leah Callen is a budding poet-playwright-screenwriter studying at the University of Victoria.


Actors enhance suspense with slapstick

The 39 Steps
Langham Court Theatre
Directed by Keigh Digby and Cynthia Pronick
Adapted by Patrick Barlow from Alfred Hitchcock and John Buchan
Ends March 23, 2013

Reviewed by Leah Callen

Langham Court’s The 39 Steps is North by Northwest meets Laurel and Hardy. One part old Hollywood and two parts vaudeville, it gives a self-conscious nod to both stage and screen magic.  As the audience got lost in fog and the laughter of the lady next to me ran off the tracks, I flashbacked to knee-slapping pantomimes I saw while growing up in EnglandGorblimey. In fact, I’m typing this review with one hand and sipping Earl Grey with the other.

A falsely accused man-on-the-run escapes into and out of the arms of the wrong women. Richard is dying of bachelor boredom in wartime London when he and a seductive secret agent hit it off with a bang at the theatre. His excitement begins. This production winked at us with charming Hitchcockian allusions, from a bad guy who sports a wig from Psycho to a police chase that exists through the rear window. It would make a fun drinking game, raising a glass each time one of Hitchcock’s movies flashes us – if drinking were allowed in the theatre. One has fun spotting them nonetheless. Film projections were a delightful, theatrical element here; the medium is perfect for a play adapted from a movie. I wish it had been used more throughout.

The play also pokes fun at the limits of theatre with self-destructing props, intentionally missed queues and phones that ring long after they’re answered.  The slapstick made up for some inevitable predictability in plotting for the genre. The tongue-in-cheek approach is the marmalade that makes all the cloak-and-dagger easier to swallow.

The actors wore many fedoras and grew more comfortable with madcap character changes as the play galloped along. Alan Penty played the lead, Richard Hannay, who gets more dashing as he’s chased across countries. Handcuffed against his will to button-faced Pamela, he is forced to face his deepest fear: commitment. In a clever, mute moment, Richard has no choice but to caress her legs with his cuffed hand while she removes her stockings one-by-one, and he holds a sandwich. Talk about restrained appetites. Penty was humorously human as craziness rained down on him.

Karen Brelsford took on the Vertigo-esque challenge of portraying with chameleon ease prim Pamela,  Annabella the spy and man-hungry Margaret. It was fascinating seeing her adapt her energies to match each new wig.  Nick Sepi and Toshik Bukowiecki were masters of quick change, playing everything from the milkman to dancing Nazis. Nick was straight out of Monty Python as he juggled accents and gestures.  He was so hilarious that I wanted to take him home as my dinner guest. Toshik was at ease in both skirts and kilts. He handled outrageous characters with unbelievable naturalism. He was the favourite of the man sitting behind me.

Some transitions were inspired and others a bit clunky, but it’s forgivable since the play is so darn funny. One scene ending featured a train-whistle scream that shifted us into a train car. The choreography that followed was simply brilliant. Hitchcock would be proud. The strobe light effect seemed an unnecessary staging device and just gave me a headache. But overall, this was a successful marriage between theatre and film. I give it two guns up.


Leah Callen is a budding poet-playwright-screenwriter studying at the University of Victoria.


Love is blind, s***head.

Reasons to be Pretty
@ The Phoenix
Written by Neil Labute
Directed by Christine Willes
Feb 14-23 

Reviewed by Leah Callen

Reasons to be Pretty presents a world where people change relationships as easily as they shed overalls. Here, men and women take swings at each other while searching for their ideal other. Reasons to be Pretty blames women for the superficial desire to look good and men for desiring good-looking women. These characters are caught in a vicious cycle.

The women and men are flip sides of one another, barely skirting the clichés of beauty versus brains. Reese Nielsen as insecure Steph is exactly what she accuses her boyfriend of being: an overbearing know-it-all (who may kill your fish if you push her). Yet, I felt great sorrow for her as she spends the rest of the play taking his casual insult to heart and reinventing herself. In her humble monologue, she tells us she doesn’t have much but she likes what she has and she’s got to protect it. I saw her as a diamond in the rough, her off-the-charts cursing a defense mechanism.

Alberta Holden as the bouncy Carly, the security guard who’s always on the beat, almost becomes the butt of well-read Greg’s jokes. But she confesses a dark vulnerability by flashlight while doing her rounds at the warehouse: beauty comes with perks and pain. Her face is a creep magnet. With team spirit, Alex Frankson plays childish, Just-do-it Kent who skips through life and compares his lover’s eyes to crayon colours.  Robin Gadsby shines as Greg, so thoughtful in his reading list and thoughtless about his girlfriend’s feelings. His thematic T-shirts broadcast the mood of each scene brilliantly. I enjoyed the shocking fistfight between jock and bookworm. Like two oversized children, they duke it out on the playground, but the bully has it coming.

It’s ironic that a play about the superficiality of looks is so visually exciting. We, the audience, become a character in the actors’ mirrors, and we’re told to mind our own business (check out the Phoenix bathrooms at halftime, hint, hint). Moving sets, film projections, and songs like “Bad Romance” set the atmosphere beautifully. The mall scene is full of visual metaphors: the red roses match the bloodstains on Greg’s In Cold Blood T-shirt; the male and female bathroom signs point in opposite directions–all illustrate the relationship war.

The play sometimes stretches things too far. Steph’s unedited rage needs a rewrite. As a woman, I related to both female characters: I’ve had people put down my looks and also been stalked by strangers. Perhaps that’s the female condition in our society–hated and desired. Overall, the play made me happy I’m single.

Why are we so critical when looking in the mirror? As Greg would say, it’s all just packaging. One man’s Venus is another’s regular girl. But, I also believe love should cast a glow on your partner’s face. I agree with Steph: “love is blind, s***head.”


Leah Callen is a budding poet-playwright-screenwriter studying at the University of Victoria.