Review: The Particulars (Punctuate! Theatre)

Picture of Simon Bracken and Chorus Dancers in The Particulars

The Particulars is wonderfully original, beautiful and touching theatre

Punctuate! Theatre has brought The Particulars to The Theatre Centre and it is a mesmerizing sight to see. Haunting, melodic, subversively funny, and bearing a deeply rooted sadness, this show is a wonderfully original examination of one man’s life after loss.

Written and directed by Matthew MacKenzie, The Particulars tells the story of Gordon, a solitary man who is increasingly haunted by his insomnia. Gordon, we learn, is a very particular man. He follows his routines religiously: where, when and how he prays, waters his beloved orchid, feeds his domestic and stray cats, and so forth.

In the play, a week in the life of Gordon unfolds while his insomnia rises to a crescendo. He comes to believe that his house and garden are under attack by invasive rodents and insects, and in attempting to exterminate them, his once orderly life rapidly unravels.

Gordon was played with great command by Simon Bracken, who was meticulous on stage. Accompanying his performance, the show also featured a group of chorus dancers (Amber Borotsik, Lara Ebata, Bridget Jessome, Richard Lee Hsi, Krista Lin, Rebecca Sadowski and Kate Stashko) who were entirely breathtaking to behold. Draped in long, flowing veils, the dancers acted out the growing background noise of Gordon’s world. With powerful choreography by Alida Kendell, they gave body and movement to the steadily rising feelings of insanity.

Going into The Particulars, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After watching the show, I was reminded of many a Hitchcock thriller, with its smart, tight dialogue, fast pacing, rising tension, and dark unraveling. Unlike a Hitchcock thriller, however, The Particulars didn’t lead to a cold-blooded murderer; instead it led to a heartbroken mourner, frozen in time.

The Particulars is a deeply moving look at how one man tries – and struggles – to return to normal life after a devastating loss. It is beautiful and touching, and very much something to see.


  • The Particulars runs until October 26, 2019 at The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West)
  • The show runs Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, with one additional matinee on Saturday October 26th at 1:30pm
  • Tickets are $20 for students, seniors, and arts workers, $30 for all other adults, and PWYC on Tuesday October 22nd
  • Tickets are available online, or in person at the box office
  • The show runs for approximately 75 minutes

Photo of Simon Bracken and chorus dancers (Amber Borotsik, Lara Ebata, Bridget Jessome, Richard Lee Hsi, Krista Lin, Rebecca Sadowski and Kate Stashko) by Dahlia Katz