Rating: ★★★★★

Company: Pajrass Productions

Genre: Play - Dramedy

Venue: 13- School of Contemporary Dancers

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If I could give this one six stars, I would. Within the first minutes on opening night, I could tell that we lucky souls in the audience were about to witness greatness.

Winnipeger Sharon Bajer's stage presence is so powerful you might even forget at times that she is up there by herself. Her mighty voice, her dynamic movements, her very essence fill the theatre and make it hard to believe that that much life force is contained within one person.

Catalpa is a true story written by Irish playwright Donal O'Kelly. It begins in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1876, where the whaling ship Catalpa sets off on a secret voyage to free six Irish political prisoners from Freemantle penal colony in Western Australia. (Honestly, the storyline feels almost secondary to Bajer's performance. She's really that good.)

The set is dominated by four white, billowing curtains that Bajer uses remarkably effectively to illustrate the story. Musician Todd Koga is on stage throughout, playing gongs that perfectly complement the dialogue.

Within the first minutes of the opening night's performance, I could tell that we lucky souls in the audience were in the presence of greatness. - Sarah Broadfoot

This is a masterpiece worthy of sellouts for every performance.

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