The Seven Lives of Louis Riel at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

The Seven Lives of Louis Riel

La Cité Francophone (8627 91 street), August 14 – 21
More information: monstertheatre.com


Photo Credit: Pink Monkey Studios with Graphic Design by Kurt Firla Featuring Ryan Gladstone

Photo Credit: Pink Monkey Studios with Graphic Design by Kurt Firla Featuring Ryan Gladstone

An interview with Ryan Gladstone.

Describe your show in five words.

It’s the story of Louis Riel seven times, from seven different people’s points of view, in seven different genres. (I still can’t count)

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

It’s a play about a guy trying to write a play about Louis Riel. His aim is to try and sift through all the conjecture and controversy over the man and see if he can find out who the real Riel really is.

What inspired you to write a show about Louis Riel?

In one of our very first plays The Canada Show: The Complete History of Canada in One Hour, we had a scene about Louis Riel which I had researched and found fascinating. He is truly one of the most debated over figures in history; no one agrees on what kind of a person he was. I am very much interested in the malleability of history, how someone’s image can shift over time Louis is the exact prime example of that. All of our history shows reveal history in a new light. We like to call them ‘re-imaginings’ of history.

How did you choose the perspectives from which the various ‘lives’ are told from?

They are all based on legitimate research. Every single angle is defended by at least one historian. Believe me, it wasn’t difficult to find alternate views on Louis Riel.

Through the process of creating this show, what is your favourite thing you’ve learned about Louis Riel?

One of my favourite elements of the show is the part where I ask the audience if they have any questions, and we end up in a bit of dialogue about Louis. Performing the show in the prairies where so much of his life took place, it is always exciting to find people passionate and knowledgeable about Louis.

The 34th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 13 – 23. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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