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by Staff Writer
Feb 28, 2014
The Vernon Morning Star
While Edgar Allan Poe is widely considered to be a literary genius and his works are still read today, the details of his life are shrouded in mystery.
“The line between fact and fiction, dreams and reality, life and death has always been blurry in the work of Poe. This was also the case in his life,” said writer, director and composer Jonathan Christenson, who as artistic director with Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre is bringing Poe’s life and words to the stage in the award-winning production, Nevermore: The Imaginary Life And Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe.
By Mel Priestley
Feb 19, 2014
We don’t truly know why Edgar Allan Poe penned such haunting tales—but from the kernels of truth embedded in Catalyst Theatre’s fantastically macabre Nevermore, it certainly seems viable that having death as a constant companion could drive someone to an obsession with the darker aspects of life.
As the full title suggests, Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe is not to be taken as literal truth, but rather as a fanciful surmising of what key life events may have been significant influences on Poe’s work. Chief among those is death, particularly the scourge of tuberculosis that claimed his mother when he was six and is here symbolized by a bloody handkerchief and an ominous wheezing cough that echoes from the shadows. This production, revised from the original 2009 version, fleshes out death in a series of bleakly fantastical figures: after she dies, Poe envisions his mother, shrieking and with grotesquely long claws scratching at her coffin walls; he turns to find the raven figure that became so synonymous with his writing.