About Less Bland Productions

 

Articles

– Ollie and Emma Chek TV Article

– Ollie and Emma Times Colonist Article

– Gone South Times Colonist Article

– Making documentary on Canadian Stars a joy for Victoria Filmmakers

– Gone South Globe and Mail Article

– Gone South CanCulture Article 

-Victoria Partners’ Film Focuses on Canada’s Star Exports

– Filmmakers aim to take lighthearted look at Canada’s influence on Tinseltown

– Victoria Group Gets Dan Needles Play Rights

– TV Series Shot in Victoria Gives Female Comics a Boost

– Jack Knox Column on She Kills Me

 

Leslie D. Bland

“Since joining Kaleidoscope in 2000, Bland inspired a renaissance that expanded the profile and programming of the acclaimed theatre company for young people. Initiatives included a December mainstage production uniting professional adults and young performers, retooled performing arts studio classes and expansion of touring company operations. Attendance also increased for in-house productions including Twelfth Night, Anne of Green Gables, Animal Farm and Macbeth.” Times-Colonist May 18, 2010

“Overly bold adaptations of Shakespeare can be annoying. Often it’s more about the director arbitrarily imposing his or her stamp, regardless of whether it makes sense for the script. Such was not the case with director Leslie Bland’s interpretation of Macbeth. His clever notion was to recast the three witches as aggressive journalists predicting Macbeth’s future – reminiscent of today’s poll-obsessed political reporting … this romp was stylish, fast-paced and fun.” Times-Colonist December 26, 2009

“A Great Macbeth For Our Times”

“Happily, Leslie Bland’s bold new adaptation of Macbeth makes sense … This Macbeth is energetic, fast-paced, stylish, and plenty of fun … Overall this is a production that works. I truly admire the chutzpah and intelligence of Bland’s approach. Macbeth examines what happens when the world’s natural order is inverted. Extending the theme to question the media’s interference in political happenings — helping rather than acting as a mirror — is clever and apt.” The Times-Colonist, May 24, 2009

“Spot On — Thoroughly modern Macbeth works surprisingly well”

“Not many teenagers are into 400-year-old plays, so you’ve gotta admire Kaleidoscope Theatre’s pluck for serving up Shakespeare’s Macbeth to its current crop of young audiences … there’s a lot to like in this Macbeth. Directed with panache by Leslie Bland, this is a buff Bard for 21st Century audiences … Fast-paced, exciting, and seemingly lifted from today’s headlines, this is Macbeth as it no doubt seemed to its original audience.” Monday Magazine, May 27, 2009

“Kaleidoscope’s Innovative Macbeth a Thrill For Audience”

“Intermission in the lobby of the Belfry Theatre is usually a sedated affair … not so on opening nigh of Kaleidoscope Theatre’s production of Macbeth… Bland’s version is a visually intriguing adaptation … even so, and despite the eye candy electronic visuals, Kaleidoscope’s version stays true to the roots of the play … Bland’s adaptation is sure to lure more bodies to the Belfry Theatre as it did opening night with this sensual, innovative, and ultimately thrilling production.” Victoria News, May 29, 2009

“Magic Carpet Ride – The Bland Brothers Make Disney’s Aladdin Anything But”

“This is a great production, likely Kaleidoscope’s best. Director Leslie D. Bland is at his finest here, engaging both cast and audience alike in a witty high-energy romp that’s fun for adults and kids” — Monday Magazine December 13, 2007

“How fitting that Leslie D. Bland’s adaptation of Peter Pan would pick up a win in this, the centennial season of J.M. Barrie’s fabled creation. But while his December production at the Mac gave audiences everything they wished for, what made it so memorable for many was the simply gorgeous combination of visuals… now there’s an artist who can bring dream worlds to life.” Monday Magazine Feb 24, 2005

“You’ll go overboard with laughter – Pirates of Penzance satirical edge cuts through the sword fighting farce. Director Leslie D. Bland’s colourful crew uses joyous jiggling through the rigging to unload the right measure of melodramatic mockery intended by the legendary Gilded Age playwrights” Nanaimo News Bulletin, June 27, 2004

“Chemainus Theatre’s entertaining new Penzance – running all summer long – is peppy, not puny, and definitely worth seeking out. Director Leslie D. Bland has added a novel pair of book ends to the familiar… It seems a small thing, but in fact, it’s a very clever and significant device … The show is replete with clever little touches, something invariably noticed and appreciated by audiences.” Times-Colonist June 20, 2004

“Twelfth Night an outrageous chuckle-fest. Kaleidoscope Theatre has taken the “what you will” sentiment to heart with a 1960’s Haight-Ashbury-meet-Swinging London reworking of the play, courtesy director Leslie D. Bland. It works! Adults will be amused by Kaleidoscope’s intelligent, highly entertaining production of Twelfth Night – and as for the youngsters, I can’t think of a better introduction to good ol’ Willie!” Times-Colonist May 23, 2004

“Kaleidoscope shines with The Hobbit. Leslie D. Bland; Director achieves the semi-impossible! The Hobbit is the new Kaleidoscope’s crowing achievement to date; a well-directed ‘cast-of-thousands’ show boasting strong and imaginative production values” Times-Colonist Dec 9, 2002

“The Hobbit is a tale to please all ages. The 34-member, mostly-youthful cast is excellent… Yet the real stars of this show are both Leslie D. Bland’s direction and its near cinematic production values. Proving once again that he can handle kids and crowds well, Bland infuses this production with a vitality rarely seen on the stage” Monday Magazine Dec 12, 2002

“All the World intrigues, inspires. Lean, tight direction by Kaleidoscope artistic director Leslie D. Bland; and a hard-working cast that’s simply tough to beat … Not only has he managed to make Shakespeare both approachable and compelling for audiences of all ages, he manages to do it without ever mentioning the Bard’s name once. Like a really good episode of Star Trek, All the World manages to fuse the classical with the futuristic in a tale wholly suited to our own time.” Monday Magazine May 29, 2002

“Some people seem to think that putting on a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream is an easy undertaking – that all you need is a lot of energy, a bunch of fairy outfits, some glitter, and a wee bit of talent. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t expect much from Phoenix’s final show in their Shakespeare season. But even my highest expectations were exceeded by leaps and bounds. This is the Phoenix’s crowning glory … Erin Karpluk, as Hermia, is only one example of the fantastic combination of wit and physical humour that is used to great advantage in this production … This is the Phoenix’s ‘don’t miss’ show. Sure to make you laugh” UVic Martlet, March 18, 1999

“director Leslie Bland presents a more abstract, adult, and dare I say, Freudian interpretation of the Dream … to the Phoenix team’s credit, having taken this psychological tack, they hold to the vision with such confidence, wit, and vigour that by the time I emerged from their highly entertaining Dream, I’d forgotten it could be imagined any other way” Monday Magazine, March 18, 1999

“Sex Sells. Or in this case it makes a great play … Director Leslie D. Bland works this angle in a visual, physical and rollicking production for the University of Victoria’s Phoenix Theatres, creating theatre that is highly entertaining and oozing with sex appeal … relieving to see such physical direction. So many plays ignore the visual side of the text and, in trying to explore the subtle hidden meaning of the words, forget that theatre is, above all, a visual medium. This is Shakespeare the way it’s meant to be seen – with a sense of fun” Victoria News, March 17, 1999

“Spunky Midsummer a delight at all levels”

“Few things are more delightful than seeing Shakespeare done with wit, spirit, and panache. And the University of Victoria’s spirited production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream possesses all three in abundance. This excellent theatre production benefits tremendously from director Leslie D. Bland’s assured and thoughtful direction. Not surprisingly the opening nigh audience loved this” Times-Colonist, March 14, 1999

“All the more credit to this admirable production of David Mamet’s Oleanna. John Krich, as the university professor, and Erin Karpluk, as the student who accuses him of sexual harassment, have achieved a good command of Mamet’s peculiar phrasing and rhythm and counterpoint while conveying countless unspoken tensions and ambiguities. And director Leslie Bland, working with a single, small claustrophobic office setting, has stage the play so that it subtly underscores the changes in the teacher-student relationship … This is a fine production of a superb – and still relevant — play. I doubt that there will be a better place to spend a Fringe dollar this year.” Monday Magazine August 28, 1998