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REVIEW: “Akhnaton” at Bruka Theatre (Subscriber Content)

By Kylie Masznicz
Published: Last Updated on
Image courtesy of Bruka Theatre.
Image courtesy of Bruka Theatre.

Akhnaton tells a story of an Egyptian king that tried to create a world full of peace and truth rather than war and glory. However, his subjects think he’s mad and with more changes bring more outrage. Watch as Akhnaton tries to stay true to his morals while also pleasing his people and those closest to him.

The plot itself is an interesting narrative towards what many of us would deem an ideal world. The characters in the play are very well developed and act as FOIL’s against one another, allowing lots of insight towards the political issues that are brought up and challenged. The play itself isn’t entirely politically driven, though, and many audiences can find something to enjoy.

Written in 1930, “Akhnaton” uses a specific language more suited for its original time and also to better establish the Egyptian setting. However, I still found it easy to follow and was never confused about what was being said.

There’s also quite a few characters, but each get introduced at specifically spaced times throughout the performance, making it easy to follow along with who’s who and avoiding confusion.

The actors were also very confident, and you could tell lots of rehearsal and time was given towards the performance. It was genuinely entertaining to see the characters interact with one another, give dramatic monologues, and make quirky facial expressions.

However, there were a few things about this play and theatre I wish I knew before attending. First off, the play is three and a half hours long with two intermissions. I was planning on grabbing dinner after, but when the play finished at 11:15 I was a bit stumped.

Thankfully, they served free food and drinks at the downstairs bar after the performance, but I was still very unprepared for the time commitment this play demands. I’m unsure if this was a feature just for the opening night or if it’s something one could except at every performance. Nonetheless, I’d highly recommend grabbing dinner before if you’re planning on making an evening out of it.


It was frustrating because there were quite a few opportunities for the play to be cut down, time-wise. The director commented before that he wanted to keep true to the original 1930’s version; however, the gets is being given to a modern 21st-century audience. There were a few conversations that went on for such a long time where I’m sure some lines could’ve been cut, as well as very long set-changes in between scenes.

The set was unique as it was built to be modified in several different ways, but the cast that was responsible for changing the set really played up these moments as if they contributed to the play itself. They would remain in character by grunting and whispering about the king and his new laws while moving the set pieces, but quickly moving these set pieces and returning to the main plot at hand would’ve been much more affective and appreciated.

Image courtesy of Bruka Theatre.

Another odd thing about the theatre is the cat that resides there. I have a moderate allergy to cats, and just being in the same room as one is enough to spark my symptoms. I felt embarrassed by my amount of sneezing and coughing, and wish I knew that there was a cat there before the performance so I could’ve prepared more.

Overall, though, the play was fantastic, and I would recommend it to all. Just be wary of the length of the play and the cat that, for some reason, lives in the bar downstairs.

The Details

Written by: Agatha Christie
Directed by: Lewis Zaumeyer

Dates
Evening Show Dates: 3/1, 3/2, 3/7, 3/8, 3/9, 3/13A, 3/14, 3/15, 3/16, 3/21, 3/22, 3/23 @ 7:30 PM

Matinee Show Dates: 3/3, 3/17 @ 2:00 PM followed by a talk-back with the company 3/13A: Artist Night $10 All Tickets

Tickets
Senior/Student/Military $18
General Admission $20

Cast

  • John Paul Rivard as Akhnaton
  • Anjali Mathewson as Nefertiti
  • Greg Klino as Horemheb
  • Alexandria Pauletto as Nezzemut
  • Jon Lutz as Meriptah
  • Jacqueline Fisher as Tyi
  • Lea Pennington as Para
  • Paris Rich as Citizen Female 1
  • Lili Garajeda as Citizen Female 2
  • Anna Christine as Citizen Female 3
  • Luke Nelson as Citizen Male 1
  • Jayton Newbury as Citizen Male 2
  • Jake Steinman as Citizen Male 3

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