WINNERS AND LOSERS
What makes us winners? How far is too far when confronting another person’s values? In this vicious, provocative game, no blow is too low. Anything goes.
The game is of cruel simplicity, with winners on one side and losers on the other. Tom Cruise, microwave ovens, Alberta – winners or losers? Opinions spew forth, from the brilliant to the comical, but the friendly game quickly and imperceptibly slips into a profound existential enquiry. What makes us winners? How far is too far when confronting another person’s values?
Everything here is autobiographical, the danger is real. Vivacious, over the top and at times dishonest, James Long and Marcus Youssef appear to hail from a similar social background. But between the two long-time friends conflicts arise, heavy with tension. Around a table that resembles a boxing ring, an extreme combat of ideas and values gets underway. Indeed, some are higher up in the middle class than others, and certain privileges die hard. In this vicious, provocative game, no blow is too low. Anything goes.
PRODUCED BY NEWORLD THEATRE + THEATRE REPLACEMENT
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BYJAMES LONG + MARCUS YOUSSEF
DIRECTED BY CHRIS ABRAHAM
LIGHTING DESIGN JONATHAN RYDER
PHOTO SIMON HAYTER
CO-PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH CROW’S THEATRE (TORONTO)
WRITTEN BY DIANE JEAN
TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
PREMIERED AT GATEWAY THEATRE, RICHMOND, DECEMBER 1, 2012
JAMES LONG + MARCUS YOUSSEF (VANCOUVER)
NEWORLD THEATRE + THEATRE REPLACEMENT
Different yet Complementary
For more than 15 years, James Long and Maiko Bae Yamamoto have been co-artistic directors of Theatre Replacement in Vancouver. The company explores various artistic disciplines, developing concepts specific to particular places and the people who live in them. Replacement was previously at the FTA in 2009 with Bioboxes, interactive installations that gave voice to the immigrant experience, and Weetube, based on videos and posted commentary culled from YouTube. In 2010 it returned with The Greatest Cities in the World, a documentary performance based on the inhabitants of towns in Tennessee with prestigious names like Paris or Rome. Their following project is a show based on the artistic collaboration between Kate Bush and David Bowie in the late 1970s.
A writer and actor born in Montreal, Marcus Youssef is the co-artistic director with Adrienne Wong of Neworld Theatre, whose works employ many forms and styles to investigate questions of power, culture and belonging. These have been presented at festivals across North America and Europe, and Australia. The works include the virulent war-on-terror satireAli and Ali and the Axes of Evil, the adaptation of Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, Adrift, and How Has My Love Affected You?, based on the journals his mother kept as she succumbed to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which Marcus performs with his seventeen year old son, Zak.
Winners and Losers, the first collaboration between these two men of the theatre, was first presented in November 2012 in Vancouver.