• Nadia Ross

7 Important Things 2007 - 2015


photo by Andrée Lanthier


George Acheson has spent his life protesting the status quo. In 7 Important Things, we look to the past in an attempt to reconcile his life, one that has been profoundly marked by the times. Born in 1950, George rejected the comfortable, easy life his family had in mind for him. He was eventually kicked out of his house because he would not cut his hair. He was a teenager and the hippy movement fascinated him. For him, it was a movement that symbolized freedom, unconventional thought and lifestyles. Being a hippie became his identity, so when the movement fizzled out, he was lost. He felt like a failure when he finally accepted a job working in the government. He was working in London, England, just as the punk movement was starting to build: another movement protesting the status quo and another identity he was comfortable with, but that too would fall apart. He still hasn’t figured out how to live under a system that he doesn’t condone, yet cannot escape. Today, he feels like an invisible, generic, 64 year-old man and as such, he has a story to tell. 7 Important Things premiered in 2007, at Canada’s National Arts Centre, and has since toured around the world to beautiful reviews.   This original creation managed to delve into new forms for the theatre, as well as bring a deeply personal story about one man’s attempt to come to terms with a world seemingly far removed from the ideals that his peace and love generation believed in.   “By far the best Canadian performance which I saw was 7 Important Things by Nadia Ross, who is more famous now in Europe than in her homeland…With interviews, self-reflections and happenings the two Davids show that they are always more intelligent, more humorous and more talented than all Goliaths of this world…Ross presents this with intelligence and irony, using simple means and strict form, and from that, this ‘portrait of the artist as a young man’ tells us more about the glory and the misery of this seemingly distant period of protest than any books or statistics ever could.” Renate Klett, Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany June 26, 2008 En 1971, George Acheson, qui a grandi dans une famille de militaires, se trouve dans une ferme abandonnée de Perkins, au Québec. Il a les cheveux longs.  D’ailleurs, à l’âge de 16 ans, il a été fichu à la porte de la maison familiale parce qu’il refusait de se couper les cheveux. Il a voyagé au Maroc. Il est allé à Woodstock, à Berkeley, à San Francisco, il a manifesté contre la guerre du Viêtnam. Alors que le mouvement hippie s’essouffle, George s’agrippe à son idéologie et continue de croire en des lendemains qui chantent. Quelques années plus tard, il se retrouve à Londres, où il assiste à la naissance d’un autre mouvement de la contre-culture : le punk. Il s’y jette à corps perdu, mais ce mouvement se désintègre à son tour. Sa vie durant, George s’est identifié à des mouvements culturels qui vont à l’encontre des courants dominants et s’opposent au statu quo. Aujourd’hui dans la soixantaine, barbier dans un petit village du Québec, il ne peut plus s’identifier à aucun mouvement contreculturel, non parce qu’il est trop vieux ou pas assez radical, mais parce qu’il estime que tous les mouvements qui souhaitent s’opposer à Goliath sont récupérés par le système et ne deviennent finalement que des produits de consommation comme les autres. George Acheson est ce que l’on pourrait appeler un utopiste raté, mais il n’est pas pour autant un homme amer. « Dès nos premières rencontres, déclare Nadia Ross, il m’a dit qu’il avait pleinement vécu parce que, selon lui, il avait au moins essayé»

TOURINGHISTORY 2015 / VANCOUVER , CANADA PuSh International Performing Arts Festival 2013 / TORONTO, CANADA SummerWorks Performance Festival 2011 / STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN Stockholm Stadsteater 2011 / TRONDHEIM, NORWAY Teaterhuset Avant Garden 2011 / OSLO, NORWAY Black Box Theatre (festival) 2009 / ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIAN FEDERATION Baltic Theatre Festival 2009 / CALGARY, CANADA Theatre Junction Grand 2009 / BERGEN, NORWAY Bergen BIT Teatergarasjen 2008 / MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA The Melbourne International Arts Festival 2008 / ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS The Rotterdam International Theatre Festival 2008 / VIENNA, AUSTRIA Brut Kunstlerhaus 2008 / BERLIN, GERMANY Hebbel Theater 2008 / MONTREAL, CANADA FTA 2007 / OTTAWA, CANADA National Arts Centre 2006 / OTTAWA, CANADA National Arts Centre 2006 / , WAKEFIELD, CANADA Centre Wakefield La Peche CREATIVETEAM Written by: Nadia Ross and George Acheson   Directed by: Nadia Ross   Performers: George Acheson and Nadia Ross   Stage Manager and Technical Director: Rob Scott   Set Design: Barry Padolsky   Lighting Design: Steve Lucas   Video: W.A.C.   Mask: Rick Ritza   Costume Design: Andy Tait   Tour Producers: Sarah Conn (2012-15) and Nadia Ross (2006 – now)   Touring Agent: Menno Plukker Theatre Agent Inc.   Produced by: STO Union and the National Arts Centre English Theatre in association with the Wakefield Art Collective   Awards: Contra Guys Award for Best New Performance Text (SummerWorks Festival 2013)

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