Sweet Pickle

After 30 years of salt beef and baloney, the instinctively vegan Isabel hops a bay bus to the city supermarket.  But a nosy stock boy, a cashier with his laminated flip book of produce codes (and a mysterious voice from above) could wreak havoc with her newfound confidence.

Will she give these young sprouts the toss or scrape the remnants of her pride into the garbage bin at the front of the store?

Creative team

Writer: Ruth Lawrence
Director: Lois Brown
Producer: Baptiste Neis

Director’s statement

Lois Brown says:

Sweet Pickle is the story of a woman who leaves her small village in search of better things… to eat.

What inspired me about this script by Ruth Lawrence is the central focus on our primal attraction to fruit and the delight that the main character, Isobel, experiences when for the first time in her life she’s allowed to indulge herself in what is the essence of life – fruit.

In fact Isobel’s delight is in the array of fresh produce – not just fruit, (except for her horror when she gets to the meat department).

And of course it’s an operetta.

And of course Isobel is followed by a chorus of shoppers.

As director, once the shoppers entered the supermarket, I was interested in making everything lush, hyper-real, even fantastical.

Ruth Lawrence’s use of rhyme inspired my sense that Sweet Pickle was a fable. A fable for us all about delight in the ordinary.

The primary creative players were the writer, actress and our producer Baptiste Neis. And not surprisingly this is a very female telling of a story of seeds, food, diversity of life – how what is essential about life is nirvana.

The process involved working with a small chorus of actors and casting and recasting them as almost all the characters. This allowed us to work together before production to develop phrases of choreography, and a sense of unity that we could then bring to the short shoot.”

About Lois Brown

Lois-Brown

Born in Corner Brook, Lois is a seventh generation Newfoundlander.

Educated in Drama at The University of Alberta, she returned to St. John’s where she has maintained a cross-disciplinary practice. She is past Artistic Animateur of RCA Theatre Company and past and Curator of Neighbourhood Dance Works.

Her feature, The Bingo Robbers (created with co-star and writer Barry Newhook and producer Dana Warren in 2000) won several awards including Best Original Screenplay at the Atlantic Film Festival and Best Feature at the Toronto International DV Festival.

In 2004 she was one of five Canadian directors short-listed for the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize. The following year she received The Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for achievement by an outstanding mid-career Canadian theatre artist from The Canada Council.

She has been recognized for her contribution to the arts in Newfoundland and Labrador with an Artist Achievement Award. Her award-winning script Heartless Disappearance into Labrador Seas  has been made into a short film and premiered at the Atlantic Film Festival in 2008.

She is currently teaching acting at MUN and directing a adaptation of Toronto-artist Phlip Arima’s Broken Accidents written by Joel Hynes, co-created with Sarah Stoker and Louise Moyes with music by Lori Clarke.

Lois lives in St. John’s with her 14–year old daughter Olivia.

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