There’s a pun in the title of my silly yum!, also at George Ignatieff Theatre for Toronto Fringe Festival 2016, but it took until hearing someone say it out loud at the very end of the show to hear it. By that point we had seen the tiny, 30-minute show – all little puppets and felted mushrooms and Sims-style noises that sounded like language but were mostly just nonsense, and that, unfortunately, we never really got.
Which isn’t to say that my silly yum! isn’t adorable, it is. The puppets are very sweet. The illuminations and blinky lights are lovely. The young women who operate the puppets are full of enthusiasm for their task, and their enunciations are very inventive. It’s just that, as one of my young companions said: “it’s not really about anything, is it?”
Indeed, there’s a minor storyline – a younger person who is very excitable goes out with an older person who is very calm, and they look for mushrooms. But that’s all. It’s a simple story that might work well with younger kids if it had a lot more zip and whizbang. Conversely, the intricate, contemplative nature of the puppet work might really please an older crowd of children with a more involved story. Last year, the same company brought the Fringe eep and coo and the island that flew, a totally delightful adventure story with audience participation that pleased all of my small co-auditors a great deal and caused one of them to build nests out of twigs for several weeks after. This year’s show seems, regrettably, like a step down from there, or perhaps a step toward a something else.
This is a sweet little jewel, but I cannot say that it’s really a children’s show – or at least not for any of the children I know. Though I can think of a number of adults who might be pleased indeed to combine this mushroom theatre with, er, other mushrooms, it would probably be advisable to leave the children home for that endeavor, too.
- my silly yum! plays at the George Ignatieff Theatre. (15 Devonshire Pl)
- Tickets for FringeKids shows are $5 for kids (age 12 and younger); adults pay $12 at the door and in advance, and can be bought online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- The George Ignatieff Theatre is wheelchair-accessible, and has wide aisles for easy mid-show exits.
- Don’t miss the FringeKids club located on the lawn adjacent to the venue! Free activities for children (3-12) and caregivers run every day of the festival: see website for details.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Wednesday June 29th, 04:00 pm
- Friday July 1st, 10:30 am
- Sunday July 3rd, 11:30 am
- Tuesday July 5th, 02:45 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 11:45 am
- Thursday July 7th, 01:00 pm
- Sunday July 10th, 04:00 pm
Picture provided by company