I had the pleasure of taking in a performance of MTC Warehouse’ August: Osage County starring Canadian theatre icon Martha Henry. The three and a half hour epic was the most phenomenal play I’ve seen all year.
August: Osage County tells the story of the Winston family, lead by pill-popping matriarch Violet. Sick with cancer of the mouth, as well as the metaphorical illness of a venomous tongue, Violet (Martha Henry) meanders through her shadowy, cluttered home in a pill-popping haze. Her husband, Beverly (Frank Adamson), has hired Johnna, a Native American housekeeper enlisted to keep the house running, while enduring the racist verbal onslaught courtesy of Violet. But shortly after hiring Johnna, Beverly disappears. Scared, angry, and lonely, Violet calls in the rest of her family to aid in finding her husband. Trapped under one roof, the three Winston daughters and their various spouses and children come to head in a dizzy of sound, fury, and whiskey.
Besides the electrifying Henry, the play also features the phenomenal cast of local artists Frank Adamson, Sharon Bajer, Julia Arkos, Melanie Dean, Arne MacPherson, and Samantha Hill. The ensemble cast features not one weak link, and seeing these seasoned actors do live theatre battle is a deliciously vicious treat for the senses.
As August: Osage County has just received phenomenal reviews from Winnipeg Free Press and CBC, I’d run out and get your tickets fast. If the crowded Saturday matine that I attended was any indication, seating will be limited.
MTC’s production of August: Osage County runs until March 24 at The Tom Hendry Theatre Warehouse. Tickets can be purchased at MTC’s website or by phone at (204) 947-3741.