On Wednesday December 6th 1989 Marc Lepine entered the Ecole Polytechnic of The University of Montreal armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a hunting knife. His quarry: women.
The Anorak is a raw and harrowing story of one man’s isolation and offers the viewer a glimpse into the dark mind of one of Canada’s most hated and perhaps misunderstood criminals.
The play reveals Marc’s life from his abusive childhood, care homes, failed relationships and dreams; up to the brutal killings and his eventual suicide. Not dissimilar to other shootings such as Dawson College, Columbine and Sandy Hook, this perpetrator leaves in his wake not only devastation of unimaginable magnitude, but also the question, why?
The play is set in a stark black room with only the actor and a few sticks of chalk that he uses to chalk things up on the walls, floor and his seating. Brunger, as Lepine, directly addresses his monologue to the audience in what is a tense and uncomfortable 90 minutes of theatre. Gender is an issue from the outset in the staging and Brunger’s Lepine immediately causes discomfort in the viewers by directing us where to sit and choosing whom he aims which speeches to.
Felix Brunger delivers the monologue with a quiet, simmering anger but at times the script feels over long and painstakingly detailed which, although indicative of the character’s obsessive nature, makes for occasionally dull listening. Brunger has clear talent and is able to make the audience see the inner workings of a character without it being exhibited solely through dialogue and Gould’s direction makes good use of a stark and uncomfortable space.
Overall, although this was a good staging of the piece, I struggled a little with the play itself and found it slightly overlong and rambling, missing its mark at times.