Stage Door News

London, ON: The Grand Theatre presents “Huff” by Cliff Cardinal February 6-17

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The Grand Theatre invites audiences to embrace a gripping, uneasy and transformative solo show by celebrated actor, poet, author, and musician Cliff Cardinal in Huff: the first Grand Theatre production on the Auburn Developments Stage of 2024.

Cardinal, who recently received a Governor General Literary Award for his play The Land Acknowledgement, Or As You Like It –and was the talk of the Toronto theatre scene in spring of 2023—will be taking on the Auburn Stage with his most well-known work, Huff , from February 6 through 17, 2024.

Huff tells the restlessly provocative story of Wind and his two brothers, who are caught in a torrent of solvent abuse and struggling to cope with the sudden death of their mother. Wind’s fantastic dream world bleeds into his haunting reality, as he’s preyed on by the Trickster through the hallways at school, the abandoned motel he loves more than home, and his own fragile psyche.

Huff is about kids who abuse solvents and are at high risk of suicide,” remarks Cardinal, who was named by The Globe and Mail as a Canadian Cultural Icon in 2022. “It’s not the story of Indigenous people in Canada. If you change ten references in this story, it can be about any group of disenfranchised kids from any community.”

“Cliff Cardinal is often referred to as a ‘provocateur’,” notes Grand Theatre Artistic Director, Rachel Peake. “We are drawn to his work because, even though it might at times make us feel angry or upset, it also might make us feel a heightened liveness, a sharp presence in the moment that is so rare and so precious. And because he also invites us to laugh, even in the darkness.”

Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Cardinal studied playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada, and fronts the hilarious and nefarious band, Cliff Cardinal and The Skylarks. Cardinal lives in Toronto.

Originally produced by Native Earth Performing Arts and developed in part through The Collaborations – an initiative of Canada’s National Arts Centre English Theatre, the critically-acclaimed Huff, has been referred to as “a theatrical breath of fresh air” and a piece that “solidifies Cardinal as one of the most talented and intriguing writers in the country” (Now Magazine). The play has been performed over 200 times and has won the Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation, two Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Outstanding Performance, Outstanding New Play), RBC’s Emerging Playwright Award, The Lustrom Award (which recognizes the greatest moments at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and was short-listed for Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award.

In addition to writer and star, Cliff Cardinal, the creative team of Huff includes the talents of Karin Randoja (Director), Jackie Chau (Set & Costume Design), Michelle Ramsay (Lighting Design), Alex Williams (Sound Designer), Allan Day (Technical Director) and Ryan Cunningham (Production Manager).

Huff plays on the Grand Theatre Auburn Stage from February 6 through 17, 2024. It is recommended for an audience of 16 years of age, or older. Single tickets range from $39.95 to $46.50 (subject to availability) and are available at, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street.

The Grand Theatre gratefully and joyfully acknowledges Season Sponsor, BMO.

To learn more about Huff, please visit:

Photo: Cliff Cardinal in Huff. © 2018 Jamie Williams.