18: Foursome Majeure by Church Basement Amateurs is a light comedy and a not-so-light satire set against the backdrop of a golf course, being shown at Toronto Fringe 2015. The relationships portrayed in the performance definitely had more than 18 holes. The performances didn’t, and they are what I liked the most about this show.
The play is about two couples (Peter and Betty, and John and Solange) out to play a round of golf. The mind games that the characters play with each other in the garb of the game of golf forms the main plot of the play. The story is crisp, with a few lessons on golf, and a lot more on human ties.
The stage management team was creative and successful in recreating a golf course on the restricted space of the stage. The dominant greens and browns on stage were well-matched by the intelligently chosen colours of the actors’ costume.
The performance also boasted of impressive audio and visual effects, especially when thunder and lightning made a special appearance and exposed more gaps in the relationship shared by each couple.
If you ask me why you should watch 18: Foursome Majeure, my answer will be short and simple – James Anderson. He surely hit a hole-in-one with his performance as Peter. His colourful costume perfectly complemented his colourful personality. To add to it, his expressions, his body language and the commanding throw of his voice made his comic punches highly effective.
Not only did he have brilliant comic timing, but he was also convincing in his dramatic soliloquy about John, which was reminiscent of a classic revenge tragedy. The soliloquy revealed that the game was Peter’s way of getting back at John for betraying him in business. And get back he did, in more ways than one.
Anastasia Lainas-Hayward also did a remarkable job as Solange. She did complete justice to her character, as she seemed arrogant, snobbish and full of herself throughout the performance.
The play was lightly strewn with clever jokes and telling comments on Canadian politics, the Pan Am games, and misogyny. However, I was slightly disappointed with the breaks between the witty segments of the performance, as for me, they affected its flow. Let me put it this way: while I had expected to laugh for the full 50 minutes of the performance, I could laugh for only 35.
- 18: Foursome Majeure is playing until July 12 at the Al Green Theatre. (750 Spadina Ave)
- Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 at the door. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), from the festival box office down Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor West), or from the venue box office starting one hour before the performance. Venue sales are cash-only.
- Be advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time, and arrive a few minutes early to avoid disappointment.
- This performance is not accessible for non-English speakers.
- This performance contains mature language and mature subject matter.
- July 03 at 10:30 PM
- July 06 at 05:00 PM
- July 08 at 07:30 PM
- July 10 at 12:30 PM
- July 11 at 11:30 PM
- July 12 at 05:45 PM
Photo of James Anderson by Photographer Collin Gribbons