Except in the Unlikely Event of War by Sean Devine

Pi Theatre and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre present the world premiere of the bold political satire Except in the Unlikely Event of War .  Written by Sean Devine (Re:Union), the darkly comic, distinctly Canadian work is a probing exploration of art, politics, and war – and the messy areas where they become indistinguishable.

Sean Devine’s satiric appraisal is carried out through three interweaving storylines: The first, set in 1966 at a remote weather station in Canada’s arctic, follows a secret gathering of great minds to assess what the fall-out would be if society did not have wars. The narrative is inspired by Leonard C. Lewin’s controversial 1967 work of fiction ‘Report from Iron Mountain: On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace,’ originally purported to be a top-secret document leaked by an anonymous whistle-blower.

The second storyline leaps forward to a rapidly melting Canadian artic in 2015. During his nightly diatribe, the abrasively right-wing radio host Tommy Bane is interrupted by the news that a surfaced Chinese submarine portends war off the sovereign shores of Resolute Bay.

The final plotline enters the realm of meta-theatre, and follows playwright Sean Devine and director Richard Wolfe in 2013 as they prepare to present their highly political new play: Except in the Unlikely Event of War. A sudden and unexplained funding cut threatens the project, catalyzing the ensemble of artists towards radical action.

Photography by Tim Matheson




Critical Response

Playwright Sean Devine’s Except in the Unlikely Event of War is overflowing with intelligence and wit. It’s a smart, funny show, and Sean is an artist to watch. I encourage you to catch this one.

I also want to make a shout out to director Richard Wolfe, who is hilarious in his video appearances in the show. The guy can act. Who knew? (Well, if you were at the Jessies this summer, you probably already had a hunch.)

Colin Thomas  – Staff Reviewer for the Georgia Straight

Here we see flashed on screen videos showing the actors playing themselves, and then shifting to different roles in the play, as they debate offstage with a camera constantly filming them.

It’s an interesting approach, very avant-garde, and the actors delivered to the satisfaction of the opening night audience. The technical aspects were also well-designed and excellently executed.

 Ed Farolan – Review Vancouver

This incredibly slick production earned loud applause on opening night. Kudos to the cast and creative team for a job well done.

Plank Magazine

Creative and Production Team

Directed by Richard Wolfe
Featuring:  Robert Moloney, Josette Jorge, Lucia Frangione, Sean Divine and Richard Wolfe as himself.
Costume Design: Barbara Clayden
Set Design: Yvan Morissette
Lighting Design: John Webber
Video Design: Candelario Andrade
Stage manager: Lois Dawson
ASM: Christie Maxson
Production Manager: Jayson Mclean
Except was seen from November 15 to 30, 2013 at the Roundhouse Performance Centre, Vancouver