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Gordon

Gordon
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Morris Panych
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 128
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN-10: 0889226644
ISBN-13: 9780889226647
Cast Size: 1 female, 3 male

About the Play:

Gordon is a full-length drama by Morris Panych. Following their latest crime spree, Gordon and his crony, Carl, take refuge in a rundown house in an abandoned part of town. What unsuspecting Carl thinks is a B&E turns out to be a reunion – of sorts. Young Gordon has come home, and Papa Gord couldn't be happier – until, that is, he discovers the true nature of his son's "business" ambitions.

Gordon is about masculinity and the ways in which fathers and sons fail each other. Gordon was always an odd little child, given his penchant for setting the neighbours' sheds on fire with their pets locked inside, and his fascination with the funeral rituals at the church across the way. Home-schooled in the evenings within the bounds of a somewhat limited curriculum of drunken impromptu kitchen renovations and wife beatings in the resultant ruins by his father Gord, a man of troglodyte imagination and boundless determination for self-replication, his namesake son dedicates himself to these subjects with a kind of limitless and inarticulate awe. Something sinister and permanent involving the stairs to the basement seems to have happened to Gordon's mother at a formative stage of his development, narrowing the scope of his education even further and leaving him at somewhat Oedipal loose ends. As the steel mill shuts down and everyone in town moves away, Gordon's father urges him to attend an institution of higher learning. Educated by a legal system that provides him with free room and board in an institution dedicated solely to freshman tutorials in applied criminology conducted by its post-graduate students, Gordon's vocabulary grows by leaps and bounds, as do his natural gifts for sociopathic rhetoric, fatuous rationalization and reductive logic. Upon graduation, Gordon sets out to build an innovative business with his former cellmate Carl. This ambition is not without its bloody-handed transactions and awkward issues about where to file the evidence. Then there's the question of what to do about the pregnant and vulnerably sullen Deirdre, who spends an unusual amount of time worrying about her nails and calculating the pathetic hourly wages that Gordon and Carl's sins bring in. By accident or design, this dysfunctional trio on the lam breaks into Gord's home, wherein they confront "the end of the line" and some very disturbing metaphors.

Gordon premiered in 2010 at the Segal Centre Studio in Montreal. The West Coast premiere was in 2012 at the Arts Club Theatre in Vancouver.

Cast: 1 female, 3 male

What people say:

"That's the thing about Panych. He makes you laugh about the oddest things, at the strangest moments, sometimes leaving you feeling guilty at being so amused by the pathetic or the macabre … a riveting production of a brilliant new play by one of Canada's top playwrights." — The Gazette (Montreal)

"With crackling dialogue that recalls the muscular work of David Mamet, Gordon is a play about masculinity and power. Its characters inhabit a messy moral landscape where the only way out might just be to destroy each other." — The Vancouver Sun

"A beautifully dark and chillingly funny exploration of … the implications of bringing children into this world." — Segal Centre for the Performing Arts

"Bitter but often bitingly funny … On full display is Panych's knack for crisp, smart dialogue." — The Globe and Mail

"A dark yet humorous family drama that is both explosive and tender." — Hour.ca

About the Playwright:

Morris Panych is one of Canada's most significant contemporary playwrights. He has written more than 30 works for the stage and directed nearly 100. He is the winner of two Governor General's Literary Awards for Drama, the country's most prestigious literary honour. He has won 14 Jessie Richardson Awards, three Sidney Riske Writing Awards and five Dora Mavor Moore Awards.

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