Q·Q with Tom Power

How Cliff Cardinal's play tricked audiences into confronting Canada's relationship with Indigenous people

Award-winning actor and playwright Cliff Cardinal joined Q's Tom Power to talk about his latest show, The Land Acknowledgement, or As You Like It, which became a word-of-mouth sensation when it was first staged two years ago.

In a Q interview, Cardinal explained how his latest show subverts the audience’s expectations

A man standing against a red curtain with his right hand on his chest.
In the original version of Cliff Cardinal’s solo show, As You Like It: A Radical Retelling, audiences expecting some form of Shakespeare instead got a 90-minute land acknowledgment. (Dahlia Katz)

Award-winning actor and playwright Cliff Cardinal is known for mischief.

Two years ago, he invited audiences to come see a play, which he called a "radical retelling" of William Shakespeare's As You Like It

Crowds packed into the Crow's Theatre in Toronto ready to see a Shakespeare play, but what they got instead was very different. In the ultimate bait-and-switch, Cardinal delivered an urgent monologue about Canada's relationship with Indigenous people.

Now, his provocative one-man show is back on stage in Toronto. It's been renamed The Land Acknowledgement, or As You Like It and runs at the CAA Theatre until April 2. Cardinal joined Tom Power to talk about it.

The full interview with Cliff Cardinal is available on our podcast, Q with Tom Power. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Interview with Cliff Cardinal produced by Vanessa Greco.