Long Division by Peter Dickinson

The was the world premiere production of Peter Dickinson’s Long Division produced by Pi Theatre as part of The Gateway Theatre season in Vancouver, BC. The show was remounted the same season at the Orpheum Annex in downtown Vancouver.

Long Division uses text, multimedia, and physical theatre to create a play about the mathematics of human connection.

Long Division focuses on seven characters linked – sometimes directly, sometimes more obliquely – by a sequence of tragic events. These characters offer lessons on number theory, geometry and logic, while revealing aspects of their inner lives, and collectively the nature of their relationships to one another.

Playwright: Peter Dickinson
Director: Richard Wolfe
Choreographer: Lesley Telford, Inverso Productions
Composer: Owen Belton
Assistant Director: Keltie Forsyth

Cast:  Anousha Alamian, Jay Clift, Nicco Lorenzo Garcia, Jennifer Lines, Melissa Oei, LInda Quibell & Kerry Sandomirsky

Costume Designer: Connie Hosie
Lighting Designer: Jergus Oprsal
Set Designer: Lauchlin Johnston
Projection Designer: Jamie Nesbitt
Production Manager: Jayson Mclean
Stage Manager: Jethelo E. Cabilete
Assistant Projection Designer: Cameron Fraser
Lighting Design Associate: Jeff Harrison

Critical Response

Director Wolfe, who last treated Vancouver theatre-goers to a psychological thriller at The Cultch, has shown himself eminently capable of serving up the tense, linear tick-tock of a modern police procedural. But in Long Division he and Dickinson opt, instead, for the formalism and philosophical abstraction of a classic Greek Chorus precisely to create a little distance between the audience and the enormities on stage. Only so, the theory goes, can we attain an exalted, cosmically resonant sense of our human passions. Drama, like higher math, is not a matter of arriving at a “right” answer. It’s   about recognising beautiful, evocative, elusive patterns of connection. Not for everyone, but Long Division works for me.

 

I will give Pi Theatre and The Gateway props for trying something new, abstract, and unique. Long Division also gets marks for stepping outside of theatre’s typical comfort zone and attempting to prove a very complicated comparison as viable. Great work is not created without risk, and I’m thankful Peter Dickinson was able to follow his vision. The show missed the mark for me, but the value of its components also hold some weight in their own respective regards.

  • JJ Brewis, Lords of Dogwood

 

To tell this intelligent and emotional story, the production combines multimedia and physical theatre into one spectacular performance. It is truly incredible what mathematics can tell us about our world and how it works. Long Division brings this idea to life onstage when it displays how math can be used to discover the patterns that connects us and to see our relationships from different angles. If you see this production, there is no doubt that you will walk out with a different understanding of your world and the role that math plays in it.

  • Emily Morehead, Hercampus

 

Fantastic set design by Lauchlin Johnston, excellent projection design by Jamie Nesbitt, and standout performances by Jennifer Lines, Kerry Sandomirsky, and Nicco Lorenzo Garcia could make this an interesting 60-minute offering, but there just isn’t enough substance to maintain Long Division’s current structure.

  • Andrea Warner, Georgia Straight