Daniel MacIvor Double Bill at the Factory Theatre – Monster, Here Lies Henry
Factory Theatre is presenting a unique double-bill theatre experience from acclaimed, award-winning playwright Daniel MacIvor.
Monster, directed by Soheil Parsa and featuring Karl Ang, will run from November 16-December 10, 2023 in the Studio Theatre; and Here Lies Henry, directed by Tawiah M’Carthy and featuring Damien Atkins, will run from November 23-December 17, 2023 in the Mainspace Theatre.
Daniel MacIvor’s chilling one-person show, Monster, returns to the stage featuring powerhouse performer Karl Ang. Finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Drama, Monster peels back the psychological layers of 16 different characters to reveal the dark heart of individual experience. With a masterful blend of suspense, humour, and raw emotion, Monster invites us to confront fears and embrace the complexities that make us human.
Karl Ang is superb and flawless in this one-person remount of one of MacIvor’s earlier works that was originally presented by the Canadian Stage Company back in 1998, in which MacIvor played the role. It begins in the total darkness of a movie theatre. Ang then begins his 80 minute monologue that includes numerous characters in varying situations, from the darkest taboos to today’s pop culture references. Beginning with the young boy who tells the story of his neighbour who hacked up his father in the basement, the story twists, turns, and returns to one overlapping story line intertwined within multiple stories. There’s many cringe worthy moments, and several filled with humour, emitting a rollercoaster of emotions not knowing what’s coming next. In the end, we’re left wondering, was it all just a movie script after all?
Damien Atkins steps into the iconic role of Henry in Daniel MacIvor’s seminal one-person show Here Lies Henry about a man alone in a room with a mission to tell us something we didn’t already know. Henry is nervous, a self-proclaimed liar, and compelled by some unknown force to tell his life story.
Originally presented in 2006 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, with MacIvor in the lead role. This time is Damien Atkins who plays Henry, a self-confessed liar who rambles with a mixture of energy and fun. He’s a thirty-something optimist who ponders the meaning and pointlessness of life. He begins slowly by revealing things about himself, such as his childhood, his homosexuality, and his lies. He claims his assignment is to tell the audience something they don’t already know. Since Henry is a professional liar, it’s difficult to distinguish between his lies and the truth. Told with poise and humour, evoking sympathy and laughter from the audience.
Daniel MacIvor (Playwright) has written numerous award-winning plays including See Bob Run, A Beautiful View, Marion Bridge and Bingo! From 1987 to 2007 with producer Sherrie Johnson he ran the successful international touring company da da kamera. There, with long-time collaborator Daniel Brooks, he created the solo plays House, Here Lies Henry, Monster, Cul-de-sac and This is What Happens Next. Recently Daniel wrote the libretto for Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian presented by the Canadian Opera Company, and currently he and producer Marcie Januska run reWork Productions, a touring and development company responsible for the solo plays Who Killed Spalding Gray? and Let’s Run Away, and the upcoming documentary feature Everything Is Real Nothing Is True.
Karl Ang (Performer, Monster) is currently an actor in Toronto. Recent theatre credits include Baskerville (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Pride and Prejudice (Citadel), Cockroach (Tarragon), Lear (Groundling Theatre), Middletown, Saint Joan (Shaw Festival), Cam Baby (Theatre Mischief), King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stratford Festival), The Tempest (Canadian Stage), Madness of the Square (Cahoots/Factory), Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet (Driftwood), Banana Boys (fu-GEN), Much Ado About Nothing (Dreamnorth), Dying To Be Sick (Pleiades/NAC).
Damien Atkins (Performer, Here Lies Henry) has performed on most of the major stages across the country. Recent acting credits include: The Sound of Music (Arts Club), Caroline, or Change (Obsidian/Musical Stage); Blithe Spirit, The Shadow of a Doubt, The Ladykillers, Getting Married, Henry V and Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles and Sherlock Holmes and the Raven’s Curse (Shaw Festival). He received a Jessie Award and the Toronto Theatre Critics’ Award for Best Actor for Angels in America. He has also received ten Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations (including five in one year, in 2014) for acting and writing, winning four.
Monster: Until Dec 17, 2023 Opening night Nov 22.
Here Lies Henry: Until Dec 17, 2023 Opening night Nov 29.
DOUBLE-BILL TICKETS to both productions available on December 3 and 10, 2023 at 2pm.
Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2R2
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.