Stage Door News
St. Catharines: Cliff Cardinal’s “Huff” plays the FirstOntario PAC November 21-23
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Experience the multi-award winning solo show Huff by leading contemporary Indigenous artist Cliff Cardinal to St. Catharines with four public HOT TICKET performances in Robertson Theatre 21 – 23 November 2019.
Huff is the wrenching, yet darkly comic tale of Wind and his brothers, caught in a torrent of solvent abuse and at high risk of suicide. Ancestral history combines with harsh reality and gas-induced hallucination in a tale of family, love, despair, and the possibility of redemption.
“Huff is about Indigenous kids who abuse solvents and are at high risk of suicide,” shares creator Cliff Cardinal. “I thought that was our most taboo subculture, the one group that we're most afraid to talk about. I was so compelled by this that I was haunted by it. I couldn't stop thinking about it.”
The show covers heavy subject matter that continues to still plague Indigenous youth everywhere.
“The biggest thing when you're doing this really dark material, or things that people would rather not look at, is you're fighting the audience's natural desire to start thinking about other sh--,” says Cardinal. “Like if I'm watching something and it's bad so I think about other things I have to do tonight, you know, milk, eggs, bread, anything."
Part of the magic of Huff is Cardinal’s masterful ability to dive deep into uncomfortable subjects by using his craft to keep the audience's imaginations engaged. “One of the ways that's done is with comedy, if you open up to something, if you laugh you open up and if you open up then we have a chance of dragging you along into this into this world now,” says Cardinal.
Cliff Cardinal is a writer and performer known for his black humour and compassionate poeticism. He was born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and the son of iconic Canadian actress Tantoo Cardinal. Huff has been published, translated into French, continues to tour and will be released as a podcast by the CBC.
“When I perform the show I think about the kids in the story: little sh-- disturbers with fierce imaginations. I want to do a play that they would love. That’s why there’s so much cussing. That’s why I splash the audience. That’s why I don’t care what people think about it."
With more than 200 performances under this belt internationally, Cardinal continues to bring this urgent topic to audiences across the globe.
***CONTENT WARNING: Huff deals with substance abuse, suicide and contains mature language, mature content and mature themes.
***Huff is part of Celebration of Nations’ Featured Programming and is sponsored by Brock University with support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Arts Presentation Fund.
For tickets, visit firstontariopac.ca.
Photo: Cliff Cardinal in Huff. © 2018 Jamie Williams.