o brave new world

Jordan Tannahill (b. 1988) is a multidiscplinary artist described as '...the poster child of a new generation of (theatre? film? dance?) artists for whom “interdisciplinary” is not a buzzword, but a way of life' (J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail).

"Jordan writes and directs performances for theatres, galleries, and found spaces. His short films and media installations have been presented at festivals and galleries across Canada and internationally. In collaboration with William Ellis, Jordan ran the alternative artspace Videofag out of their home in Toronto's Kensington Market neighborhood from 2012-2016’. He has written 9 plays (and 4 films)."

He is, you will have noted, 28 years old. Yes,indeed. I saw Concord Floral at the Canadian Stage last week and while it’s not quite dazzling, it certainly is stunning. (I was stunned.) Loosely based on Bocaccio’s Decameron, set partly in an abandoned greenhouse (but it’s a limbo setting allowing great freedom), the play presents stories emerging from the concerns and interplay of ten or twelve high school students. The centre holds because the overall arc is a mystery thriller that must be solved.

The performers are barely out of high school themselves, in fact, some of the original cast, still performing, were actually in school when the play was first presented. Pause while I congratulate Matthew Jocelyn, the artistic director of Canadian Stage, for the greening of the audience, which had been noticeably greying until 2009 when he took over.

Yes, well, you’re accustomed to my taking everything personally, and why not? It’s my blog. I’m truly impressed with Mr. Tannahill’s genius (yes!) and with his youth. Comparisons are odious but I can’t help it. When I was his age I had three children, with another one coming before I was 30 - not as impressive as 9 plays (and 4 films). That’s all. I think Proust said something about there being no forgiveness in art. What is, is. So now, cut to the present: I’m not much of a writer, not much to show for it.

But I’m a great audience.