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Bolsheviki

Bolsheviki
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: David Fennario
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 105
Pub. Date: 2012
ISBN-10: 889226873
ISBN-13: 9780889226876
Cast Size: 1 man

About the Play:

Bolsheviki is a full-length drama by David Fennario. From the renowned playwright behind Canadian classics Balconville and Joe Beef, the play tells the story of First World War veteran Harry "Rosie" Rollins, as recounted to a young reporter in a Montréal hotel bar on Remembrance Day. Based on interviews the playwright had with a First World War veteran years ago, Bolsheviki is a tribute to battle-scarred soldiers in the trenches.

Bolsheviki is about a fictional World War I veteran named Harry "Rosie" Rollins. He is interviewed by a young freelance reporter named Jerry Nines for a piece the battle of Vimy Ridge, which saw over 10,500 Canadian soldiers wounded and 3,600 killed. Rollins recalls his experience in the trenches with men pissing their pants, losing limbs, and planning a revolt against their officers. The character of Rosie Rollins is based on World War I veteran Harry "Rosie" Rowbottom, who was wounded at Vimy Ridge. David Fennario taped an interview with Rowbottom in 1979 in the old "King Eddy" Hotel in Toronto over a bottle of Bushmills whiskey. Rosie's meandering monologue delivers a blistering de-glorification of war as it shifts back and forth between his wartime recollections and the present. The veteran's clattering, fast-paced description of life – and death – on the Western Front is light years away from the maudlin sentimentalism of 'nation building' which often characterizes conventional histories that deal with the experience of Canadian troops in World War I. Jerry Nines links the struggle to stop the First World War with the ongoing struggle to get Canadian troops out of Afghanistan. Humour and passion combine to deliver a stunning evening of theatre.

Bolsheviki premiered in 2010 at Infinithéâtre in Montréal, Quebec on Remembrance Day. Well known and highly regarded Canadian actor Robert King, a veteran of early Fennario plays like On the Job, was brought in to carry the monologue. A respected member of the Stratford Festival (he has appeared in 22 of Shakespeare's 35 plays), he resumed the role of Rosie when the production toured to Stratford, Ontario the following spring.

Cast: 1 man

What people say:

"Bolsheviki is vintage Fennario, gritty, authentic, touching, replete with one- liners, never boring … making its radical-pacifist point while paying due respect to veterans." — Montreal Gazette

"Tying Bolsheviki all together is Fennario's determined de-glorification of war and old-soldier nostalgia. He's still an unrepentant, hard-charging leftie. A socialist, pro-worker, anti-war activist who, though now confined to a wheelchair, has lost none of his dramatic edge, as pissed off … as when he wrote On the Job forty years ago." — Montreal Mirror

"While Canadian theatre has certainly portrayed the nation at war before, Bolsheviki's perspective on the First World War, especially its often mutinous, revolutionary final days, is unique, even among the history books." — Hour

About the Playwright:

David Fennario is an anglophone playwright and a novelist born David Wiper in Montréal. He grew up and still lives in the working class district of Verdun-Pointe St. Charles, and zoomed from obscurity to national fame in 1979 with his play Balconville. His pen name, given to him by a girlfriend, was part of a Bob Dylan song, Pretty Peggy-O. He worked in a number of small jobs before he enrolled in Dawson College. With his teachers encouragement, he developed and fine tuned his creative writing skills. He was the first writer-in-residence at Montréal's Centaur Theatre, has won the Chalmers award twice, and received the Prix Pauline Julien from the United Steelworkers' Union.

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