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A scene from Cliff Cardinal’s Huff, running at Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre from Oct. 16 to 28.

Jamie Williams

Let's just say Cliff Cardinal makes quite a first impression. In the opening scene of the Cree actor-playwright's fearless solo show Huff, audiences are greeted with the sight of him suffocating – a plastic freezer bag over his head, sealed at the neck. "This is a suicide attempt," he tells the audience. Sucking the oxygen from the room, Cardinal would go on to to win the Dora Awards a year ago for best actor and top new indie play.

Huff, originally developed at Native Earth's Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival in 2012 and which toured internationally this year, returns to Toronto for a short run at Soulpepper Theatre, from Oct. 16 to 28.

Cardinal, the son of the acclaimed Métis actor Tantoo Cardinal, plays all the roles in a darkly comic one-hander about solvent sniffing, dreamscapes and the coming to grips with a mother's death.

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Huff plays Oct. 16 to 28, $25, Soulpepper Theatre, 50 Tank House Lane, 416-866-8666 or soulpepper.ca.

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