by Lynn on February 8, 2012

in The Passionate Playgoer

At Factory Studio Theatre. Based on Dostoevsky’s novel of the same name. Created and performed by Adam Paolozza, Arif Mirabdolbaghi and Victor Lukawski. Directed by Adam Paolozza, Original music by Arif Mirabdolbaghi. Set by Ken Mackenzie. Lighting by André Du Toit.

A TheatreRUN production.

Mr. Golyadkin is a meek, insecure government clerk, with a dash of paranoia. He is an outsider trying to fit in, while having contempt for the phonies he hopes will accept him. One day another man with the same name comes to work in the office. He is the spitting image of our meek Mr. Golyadkin—his double you might say. But as meek as our Mr. Golyadkin is, that’s as lively and flamboyant is the other Mr. Golyadkin, and cunning and mischievous. The other Mr. Golyadkin sets traps for the meek Mr. G, fooling the office workers into think one was the other and vice versa. This sets the meek Mr. Golyadkin’s paranoia into outer space. He loses sight of reality. Is the other Mr. Golyadkin real? Is he really the meek one’s double or a figment of his imagination? The questions make our meek Mr. Golyadkin crazy.

The gifted creators of this adaptation: Adam Paolozza, Arif Mirabdolbaghi and Victor Lukawski, along with their design team, create a world of shadows, darkness, frenzy, mystery, insecurity and a touch of madness. They use clowning and music to plumb the darkest depths of the story, and to bring out the humour as well. As Mr. Golyadkin, Adam Paolozza is a fastidious creator, dedicated to detail. He flits from one version of Golyadkin to the other with a flick of a light change. His body language is fluid. His voice is rich and mellifluous. As a director his sense of image and vision is startling and so effective.

Arif Mriabdolbaghi supplies all the sound effects and creates the music with his double bass. He is also the narrator of the story, filling in commentary. He reminded me so much of master clown, Dean Gilmour (except for the hair or lack thereof); a wide-eyed look of innocence and wonder with a hint of the imp; and his voice is as tempered and musical as Gilmour’s. As various other characters in the story, Victor Lukawski gives each distinctiveness and their own sense of humour.

I do have a quibble with THE DOUBLE. As rich as it is in detail and story lines, they go on too long. Not everything needs to be kept in out of respect for Dostoyevsky. Some cutting would have been helpful without diminishing the story. After a while it looked like they were trying to outdo their cleverness rather than tell the story. That makes everything tedious. Less please.

Overall though, THE DOUBLE an artful, funny time in the theatre.

THE DOUBLE plays at the Factory Studio Theatre.

Tickets: 416-504-9971;

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