Odd Ducks

By Bryden MacDonald

Odd Ducks
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Welcome to the small town of Tartan Cross, Nova Scotia, where skeletons rattle in closets and past histories are so intertwined that the lives of four fortysomething, eccentric characters have become so complicated that something needs to change. In the comedy, Odd Ducks, award-winning ... Read more


Overview

Welcome to the small town of Tartan Cross, Nova Scotia, where skeletons rattle in closets and past histories are so intertwined that the lives of four fortysomething, eccentric characters have become so complicated that something needs to change. In the comedy, Odd Ducks, award-winning playwright Bryden MacDonald positions his four characters at the brink of existential angst – and the action unfolds from there.

At the centre of the drama is Ambrose, an irredeemable reprobate and the type of guy who rants philosophically at the bar while mooching beer from his friends. He’s a narcissist who thinks he’s God’s gift to women. And he’s having an affair with Mandy Menzies, a charming and beautiful brunette who was the high school beauty queen but is now stuck in a marriage of convenience and a life of boredom. Her housekeeper, Estelle Carmichael, has seen it all, but her prickly exterior belies a loving heart. The dryly funny Freddy Durdle is the perfect counter-balance to over-the-top Ambrose.

All four oddballs seem stuck in their lives, but searing sarcasm relieves the boredom and crazy, everyday dramas aid their struggle to move on and keep things light.

Bryden MacDonald

Bryden MacDonald is a playwright, director, dramaturge, and teacher. His published plays are Whale Riding Weather (1994), The Weekend Healer (1995), Divinity Bash / nine lives (1998), and With Bated Breath (2010). He has created and directed theatrical interpretations of the words and music of Leonard Cohen (The Light Gets In), Carol Pope and Rough Trade (Shaking the Foundations), and Joni Mitchell (When All the Slaves Are Free). His latest play, Stained Glass, is in the works, as is his first novel, The Old Marsh Road. He has taught and coached students at the National Theatre School of Canada and McGill University, served as resident dramaturge at Playwrights Workshop Montreal, and was the mentoring director for Imago Theatre’s Inaugural Directors’ Gym. He has conducted workshops or been artist-in-residence or guest artist at a number of theatres and festivals across the country, including the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Factory Theatre, and Neptune Theatre. He has juried Canada Council for the Arts awards and been a member of the board of directors for the Quebec Drama Federation.

Awards

  • Governor General's Award (Drama) 2015, Short-listed

Reviews

Odd Ducks is a tragedy that is essentially a comedy because really, without comedy, nothing can be taken seriously … The writing sizzles and sings … the play builds to a great finish. ”
Chronicle Herald (Halifax)

“The dialogue is snappy, the laughs are frequent. ”
The Coast (Halifax)

"Odd Ducks is a tragedy that is essentially a comedy because really, without comedy, nothing can be taken seriously … The writing sizzles and sings … the play builds to a great finish. ”
Chronicle Herald (Halifax)

“The dialogue is snappy, the laughs are frequent. ”
The Coast (Halifax)

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