Seadreamer’s production of Daniel MacIvor’s one-man work a monstrously good look at the scariest beast of all

Writer Caroline Russell-King offers her patented postcard review of Seadreamer’s current production of Daniel MacIvor’s acclaimed work Monster — just in time for Halloween.

Show: Monster.

Playwright/composer: Daniel Maclvor.

Production company/theatre space: Seadreamer, at the Motel, Arts Commons.

Length: One act (one hour, 20 minutes with no intermission).

Genre(s): Drama/tragedy (with horror overtones).

Premise: One man deals with addiction and his inner monster in a story told through a cast of interwoven characters.

Why this play? Why now?: Halloween is a good time to think about the scariest monsters of all – us.

Curiosities: While there are only a limited amount of lights at the ready in the Motel, I wondered what a great swath of lights could do to support the storytelling. I wondered about the structure of the play and whether is was more of a dreamcatcher with all tightly pulled threads that trap the audience in a nightmare, or a spiders web were we are bound by the stickiness of dysfunction.

Notable moment: The graphic imagery of the events in the basement are spine chilling.

Notable writing: A finalist for the Governor General’s Award for drama this one-man show is a rich macramé weaving of characters who tell a gripping story.

Notable performances: Caleb Gordon has plucked the perfect showcase for his talents — he has the potential to be a Canadian version of Bradley Cooper.

Notable design/production: Troy Couillard provides a sound soundscape for MacIvor’s play with small details like a baby’s cry that goes from attention seeking to panic.

Notable direction: Elizabeth Stepkowski Tarhan knows how to keep tension and pace — she eschews the over complication of extraneous blocking and props to keep focus tightly on the action and split-second transformations from character to character.

One reason to see this show: Monstrously good.

Seadreamer’s production of Monster runs until Nov. 3 at Motel Theatre in Arts Commons. Tickets can be reserved by calling 587-832-5066, by emailing or on Facebook.

Caroline Russell-King is a playwright, dramaturg, and instructor. She is a member of The Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Dramatist Guild of America and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You can find her work here