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From “CATHERINE KIDD: HYENA SUBPOENA” by Luna Allison
“The show is a reinterpretation, a reimagining, of all things maligned… Kidd expresses these notions – some of which are absolutely breath-taking – through relatable stories that are told from the point of view of various species: hyenas, antelopes, lions, humans. In this show, she does it with great finesse… Kidd is as playful and engaging as ever, but there is a new ingredient in the mix this time around. The level of risk, the edge in the work, brings a whole new dimension to her presence onstage.”
The article also includes a link to this video — a demo of The Lottery from the October premiere, which Luna discusses in her article:
(…) The space is an integral part of the evening, as central to the event as Cat Kidd herself, or her text. Squint and you have the raw, harsh world of the play (South Africa’s savannahs). Squint again and the street lights coming through the trees through the industrial space’s windows is the orange moon. And Kidd dominates this space with a huge presence and yet without busy-ness…and she IS like no other solo performer I have ever seen.
The text, with its almost invisible patterns and rhyme schemes, is brilliant – 80 minutes of stories told which, in an odd way (an organic way, if you’ll permit me to enlist jargon) create their own chronology. The tale is of a mad artist, exiled by critics to the planes, who must relive the diagnosed madness of her childhood to find the violent peace which wild Africa might offer. Toward this end, she uses/inhabits the figure of the hyena who, in nature and in lore, is a chimera—shape-shifter, scavenger, savage, witch, whore, but, above all, a survivor.
Kidd pours words, turns of phrase and images over us, separated into cantos which each have a set of rhythms and themes. Sometimes the passage is one of life in a modern world, but in one glorious one it is about a connection made with a dying lioness (whose eyes we see in film projected on the rear wall) who, like the central character, is a victim of modernity. (…)
Continue reading at charpo-canada.blogspot.com/2011/10/review-hyena-subpoena.html
Kidd’s performances elevate words to new heights, their endless pliability and depth stirring up lightning-quick associations, setting synapses afire. You can’t latch onto any one idea or memory as they come at you, rapid-fire, from every nook and cranny of your conscience and sub-conscience; you have to let go and just let the images wash over you. One super-charged phrase of words-on-steroids can bring you to the brink of despair and have you laughing to split a gut. The Montreal Gazette wrote that, “[Kidd] takes little shreds of language and lifts them up and turns them in the light, holding them, playing with them – searching them for meaning as if they were toys that had just come out of a black box, without instructions.”
Continue reading at charpo.blogspot.com/2011/10/fords-focus-cat-kidd.html
Tickets available at liftticketsystem.com/hyenasubpoena
August 26 @ Cabaret du Mile-End
Doors at 8pm, Tickets $15
5240 av. du Parc, www.lemileend.org
Tickets on sale now at
All proceeds to support the launch of
HYENA SUBPOENA by Catherine Kidd
Premiering Oct 13-29 at Atelier Jean Brillant
A Scapegoat Carnivale/Cat Kidd Coproduction
Little Scream: facebook.com/littlescream
Reversing Falls: reversingfalls.bandcamp.com
Roma Carnivale: myspace.com/romacarnivale
Cat Kidd live at HYENA SUBPOENA preview show:
Thank you to everyone who came to the show Saturday night! It meant so much to us to see so many friends old and new. Video of Lion Queen [Ode to a dying lioness] at New City Gas is up on Youtube now.
Lion Queen [Ode to a dying lioness], one of 6 story-poems performed Nov. 27 2010 at New City Gas.
Written and performed by Catherine Kidd (Montréal)
Music by Jacky Murda (Barcelona)
Video shot by Catherine Kidd & Geoff Agombar in Kruger National Park during a South African tour of Kidd’s solo show ‘Sea Peach’.
Video edited by Geoff Agombar (Montréal)
Lighting by Jody Burkholder (Montréal)
Also performed at New City Gas:
Being-Hit-On-The-Head Lessons, Hyena Subpoena, Sea Peach, The Lottery, and Dream of Friends.
Catherine Kidd solo performance at Griffintown’s historic New City Gas
One night only • Saturday, November 27, 8pm • 950 Rue Ottawa (Metro Bonaventure)
Entrance FREE • Stay and enjoy refreshments after the show
(Montreal) This November 27th an enchanting experience awaits audiences as two Montreal originals combine for one special evening of performance poetry in situ.
Beneath the rafters of New City Gas’s Dalhousie Hall, Catherine Kidd will preview works from her upcoming solo show Hyena Subpoena (to be launched in 2011) alongside road-tested favourites from previous works Sea Peach and Bipolar Bear. The pieces will feature original soundscapes by DJ Jacky Murda (Barcelona) and video environments by Kidd and Geoff Agombar.
This performance marks a return to source for Catherine, following an extended absence from Montreal stages to work on the Hyena Subpoena manuscript – a series of stories that interweave personal traumas in the life of narrator Ramona Morse with experiences and wildlife footage collected by Kidd and Agombar during a 2007 tour of South Africa.
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Built in 1859-61, New City Gas was a key player during the industrialization of Montreal, producing and distributing gas which lit the city’s streets, homes and factories. The buildings’ stone masonry, vaulted spaces and stout, open rafters stand in testament to the ambitions of a bygone era of social upheaval and energy revolution. Today this industrial heritage lives on as the complex still houses a paper warehouse, even as various sections are converted to fresh uses as galleries and ad hoc performance spaces.
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An incontournable of Montreal’s spoken word scene since the early ’90s, Catherine Kidd has forged a reputation as one of the nation’s most surprising and inspiring voices for page and stage. Her award-winning multimedia poetic creations have toured Europe, Asia, Africa, UK, US and Canada.
Slight but dominating this ‘goddess of beats’ transfixes with her adult blend of Dr. Seuss and Aesop’s Fables. — The Scotsman (Edinburgh)
“Our city’s newest superstar… a knockout… This Kidd is pure gold.” — Montreal Gazette
Catherine Kidd’s performance style makes me think of Dr. Seuss meets Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom meets David Suzuki meets Vaudeville meets Patti Smith. Yeah, it is that good. It’s a musical theatre crash course in punk rock zoology. — T.L. Cowan (Calgary International Spoken Word Festival)
Clearly one of Canada’s most talented wordsmiths. — Broken Pencil (Toronto)
Contact: email@example.com, 514.276.0839
SEA PEACH: Recorded 2002, during the original staging of the multimedia stageshow of the same name. Performed in the deep end of an abandoned Montreal swimming pool, with video projection on the tiled wall, and original soundscapes mixed live on turntables by DJ Jack Beets.
Description: This sea creature looks remarkably like a human heart. In finding a peacable balance between giving and taking, it becomes a powerful emblem of love.
from Sea Peach (conundrum press)