Emily, played by Jacqueline Byers, sits in front of the projection screen watching dancers stretch, jump and turn. The dance sequence on the screen grabs all her attention. Nothing else seems to matter. As an audience member walking into the Randolph Theatre, this image of Emily in the front of the screen is the first thing I see. Intrigued by what will happen next, I sit down comfortably to watch Here presented by Fulcrum Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Video on a projection screen, some good lyrical dancing and a little suspense is a great way to start a show and get the audience’s attention right away. The story is centered on the character of Emily (who incidentally really resembles the actress, Keira Knightley). Emily is a small town Sudbury girl who dreams of being a dancer when suddenly an accident changes her fate forever. When she finds out she can’t dance, Emily is forced to face reality and start again.
Along her journey, she meets the very charming Ken, played by Gregory Solomon. The chemistry between Emily and Ken was refreshing. There was a genuine innocence in the way they both communicated to one another. There is quite a bit of depth in the story and the use of video was a great way to help communicate that to the audience.
So much of this story, written by Aaron Jan, was relatable. Which I love! I was transported back to my earlier years when I would contemplate life and wonder if one day I would make a difference in this world. I also remember the multitude of trials and tribulations faced in my youth. And the many times I would have to say goodbye. The story really held up a mirror to my own history and I am sure audience members felt the same way. All the talented actors played roles that many of us could relate to.
Here has all the ingredients of a great play. It has the drama, the dance, the romance, the betrayal, the flashbacks and so much more. I feel that with a little more tweaking and tightening in the script, this play can go very far. The ending was a little weaker in comparison to the rest of the play so that might be a great place to strengthen in the future. But all the main ingredients for a good show were there.
So if you are looking to watch a feel good play that will take you back you in time and have you reflecting on your past (in a good way), then add Here to your must see 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival list!
Opens JULY 3rd and runs to JULY 14th
Randolph Theatre – 736 Bathurst. St. Toronto
July 03 06:30 PM
July 05 10:30 PM
July 07 01:15 PM
July 08 08:15 PM
July 09 01:00 PM
July 11 05:15 PM
July 14 07:00 PM
- At-the-door tickets: $10
- At-the-door tickets are available at the Randolph Theatre starting one hour prior to show time – cash sales only.
- Advance tickets: $11
- Advance tickets go on sale June 15, 2013
- Purchase online: fringetoronto.com
- By Phone: 416-966-1062, ext 1
- In Person: During the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W)
Photo of Jacqueline Byers by Nick Tiringer