Hart House Gets Bent

Over the years, we’ve made it a long running tradition to hit every seasonal production at Hart House Theatre. We’ve had a pretty good run, which is why even though Veronica has taken off to the warm and sunny skies of Vietnam, Ashley still attended opening night of their latest production, BENT on Friday.

One of the more political plays on the Hart House docket, BENT is based on the 1979 play of the same name by Martin Sherman which revolves around the Nazi persecution of homosexuals and the significance of the pink triangle, a concentration camp badge used to identify prisoners who were sent there as a result of their sexuality. 

A story of love and the struggle to survive, BENT follows the colourful Max (Liam Volke) as he and his boyfriend Rudy (Jordan Gray) flee Berlin after a confrontation with some of Hitler’s men. The lovers are arrested and sent to Dachau concentration camp, where they meet Horst (Jad Farris). Straining to maintain tolerance and human dignity under horrible circumstances, Max and Horst develop an intimate relationship in the least intimate of situations and eventually learn the dignity and power in knowing what or who one is.

While everyone shines on the darkened stage, it’s the relationship between Volke and Gray that really stands out. The chemistry they create between each other without even having the luxury of looking at each other is a powerful thing. And the resilience they show by spending the latter half of the play repeating the same monotonous movements over and over and over again is pretty impressive. 

As the show comes to a close and the intensity has built to its highest, you’re feeling the pain and overflowing emotion that the two are experiencing on stage. BENT is genuinely a powerfully political play that will hauntingly linger well after the curtains close.

The remaining performances are Wednesday March 6 – Saturday, March 9 with a preshow artist chat on Saturday at 1pm. Buy tickets.

images by Daniel DiMarco from official website