After our very successful UK tour, Toronto’s PLS (Poculi Ludique Societas), with the generous support of the Connaught Fund, presents two medieval English morality plays (directed by Prof. Matt Sergi of the University of Toronto):
THE PRIDE OF LIFE (late 14th C)
...a mor[t]ality play,
whose lost second half is reimagined differently at every show
MANKIND (c. 1464)
...a mischievously cautionary tale, with poop
at the Majlis Art Garden (163 Walnut Avenue, Toronto, ON; majlisarts.com)
Sat 30 July, 2:30pm: MANKIND
Sat 30 July, 6:30pm: PRIDE OF LIFE
Sun 31 July, 2:30pm: PRIDE OF LIFE
Sat 6 Aug, 2:30pm: MANKIND
Sat 6 Aug, 6:30pm: PRIDE OF LIFE
Sun 7 Aug, 2:30pm: PRIDE OF LIFE
ALL SHOWS ARE FREE (donations gratefully accepted!) AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. NO TICKETS NECESSARY! SPREAD THE WORD!
Ridiculous, irreverent, raucously relevant: join PLS for two uproarious glimpses into the dynamic, scatological, and often hilarious world of English plays as they were performed six centuries ago. We translate original scripts into contemporary English and combine them with real medieval music, costume design, and performance practices — hints of a culture that was, in some ways, more liberated and freethinking than our current one.
In our silly, scatological MANKIND (from the year c. 1464), the stodgy Mercy and the unhinged Mischief strive for the attention of a very distractable Mankind, overwhelming him with grandiose speeches, ridiculous songs, bodily humour, and a cheerful demon who creates human error.
In THE PRIDE OF LIFE, from the late 1300s, the bombastic King Life believes he will live forever… He and his jolly knights ignore the Queen’s urgent warnings that a rival king, has recently landed in their realm. Since only the first half of the original manuscript has been found, we will draw on audience input to improvise the play’s lost but inevitable mortal conclusion differently at every showing!
In a subversion of the original scripts’ anti-feminist themes, both shows are performed by six non-male actors. Family-friendly, free of charge, and accessible, all of our shows will be Relaxed Performances.
Ara Glenn-Johanson (Strength / Mischief) Polly Phokeev (Health / Mankind) Tricia Postle (Bishop / Nought) Cassidy Sadler (Queen / New Guise) Heather Sanderson (King Life / Nowadays) Nicole Wilson (Mirth / Mercy)
with special musical guests PNEUMA ENSEMBLE (Eleanor Verrette on vielle; Gaven Dianda on citole, gittern, recorder, percussion; Tricia Postle on psaltery, voice)
directed by Matthew Sergi
choreographed by Ara Glenn-Johanson
costumes by Linda Phillips
management by Dawn Nearing and Chandos Ross
Finding the site: Majlis Arts Garden is located at 163 Walnut Ave. between King and Queen, just south of Trinity Bellwoods Park, north of Stanley Park. Look for the wooden gate between two factory buildings.