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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Padre X

Looking Glass Productions, Winnipeg, MB

Posted: 07/11/2011 6:33 PM | Comments: 0

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Ellice Theatre (Venue 22), to July 24

Marc Moir reprises his 2010 stage triumph Padre X, this year taking his one-man military history to Ottawa and Toronto before returning to Winnipeg. He has a good tale well told, and timely, too, as Canadian soldiers return home from war, which Padre X tells us is "the closest thing to hell a human being can experience of this earth."

The Winnipegger wrote and tells the true story of Ontario native John Weir Foote, the only Canadian chaplain to win the Victoria Cross during the Second World War. Foote is characterized as a modest country preacher who is waiting for his train home in 1948 and, in the meantime, doesn’t want to talk about the Victorian Cross but the other cross.

Foote’s descent into hell occurred during the disastrous invasion of Dieppe where, under fire, he carried 32 of his wounded comrades to safety on the blood-soaked beaches. Then he left the safety of his landing ship and surrendered to the Germans so he could continue to care for his men. "War is romantic only if you’ve never seen it," says Foote.

Seen in Ottawa, where it was chosen Outstanding Drama last month, Padre X pays tribute to Canadian bravery on the battlefield — not for killing, but for saving lives. Outfitted in his vintage army uniform, Moir has the audience at attention for 90 minutes (the intermission seems unnecessary) with a dulcet voice that sounds like CBC Radio raconteur Stuart McLean.

-- Kevin Prokosh

 

From the official Fringe Festival program:

John Weir Foote was the only Canadian chaplain to win the Victoria Cross for Valour during the Second World War. Foote snuck along and took part in the Dieppe raid and spent three years as a POW.

Padre X was a hit at last year's Fringe, selling out its run and receiving five-star reviews.

Starring Marc A. Moir.

Recommended For: General Audience

Length: 90 MIN

Tickets: $10

http://www.lookingglassproductions.ca/

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