The (Post) Mistress is a playful one-woman cabaret-style theatre production written by Tomson Highway and is set in a fictional Northern Ontario town named ‘Lovely’. Marie-Louise, played by Patricia Cano, is a quirky and joyful lady who entertains herself by reading letters of mail that comes into the office daily. She seems to know all the secrets and scandals in town as she reads through letters of every citizen in Lovely.
The (Post) Mistress is definitely a lively theatre production, as Maris-Louise playfully sings out the secrets of everyone’s affairs, you get the feeling that she is sharing juicy gossip with the audience. This theatre production gives off the sense of something similar to a book full of short stories due to how the entire play is dominantly on Marie-Louise singing out stories of her fellow neighbours and friends based on what she finds out in everyone’s letters. The songs of the play are very enjoyable as there are a variety of playful verses, deep-felt ballads and even comically sexy songs.
While the play is very pleasant and enjoyable, there was no enchantment until the latter half of the show when the audience discovers a secret about Marie-Louise herself. However, what holds the production together is Patricia Cano’s talented and heartfelt vocals, along with her lively personification of Marie-Louise. Cano was very capable in depicting Marie-Louise as a sassy, friendly and adorable lady, someone who seems very familiar and relatable to the audience. It is hard to get over how loveable and charming she is.
What was captivating about the production was the sense of humanity you feel as the show unfolds. Throughout the play, the audience gets a sense that Marie-Louise lives vicariously through experiences written in letters yet she seems very constrained with her own life as she cannot go far due to her aerophobia. Much later on in the show, the character reveals a shocking twist to the story that fills in the missing pieces of the puzzle and you can’t help but feel sorry for her and her missed opportunities. If anything, this show will make you think about how lucky we all are just for having opportunities to go to places, try new things and meet with the ones we love and care about. The (Post) Mistress is a quirky yet heartfelt reminder for us to make the most out of our lives while we still can.