Doomed (Ferocious Smirk Productions) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

child in seventies era suit, talking to jesusFerocious Smirk Productions brings Doomed, a solo performance created by and starring Jorge Moreira, to the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival at the Factory Theatre Mainspace.

Jorge Moriera recalls growing up in a Portuguese family in Toronto and how he progressed into adulthood, all while learning how to manage A.D.D.

When reading up on the show, I was intrigued. I haven’t watched many shows that discuss learning disabilities and, as someone with one as well, I was excited to see what kind of performance could come of it. I had never really thought about it before, but the idea of being represented felt great! If only for the sake of knowing that people with similar disadvantages are not being controlled by them.

Unfortunately, I felt let down.

The show is a mixture of Jorge narrating to the audience and playing a range of eccentric characters: everyone from an angst-ridden 7-year-old Jorge to a very happy doctor. All the characters had the potential to be memorable, but I found they fell short of that. Most of the time these characters were used for the purpose of a single punchline and then dragged on for longer than needed.

An example would be of the character, Mr. Negative. A raspy-voiced man in a jersey whose only purpose was to make fun of and bring Jorge down. In a certain scene, he shows the audience all of the activities that Jorge started throughout his life and failed to finish due to his short attention span. 

The metaphor was clear, this was the part of Jorge that never believed in himself. The problem was that were was no conflict between him and Mr. Negative that progressed the story, which ended up being the case for most of the characters in the show. 

It was when Jorge narrated to the audience that we got to see the story move forward. His narrations were the most gripping. At one point, he grabbed a piece of his script and unapologetically stated to the audience “I have ADD”. This is the honestly that got the biggest laughs and it was also what I craved the most. He has an inviting and earnest demeanor to him, which made me more compelled to listen to his story. But the characters mentioned previously ended up interfering. 

That’s where my problems with the play lie. There were a lot of seeds with potential planted through the show, but not much was grown out of it. A lot of times I wondered, “Why is this scene so long?” or “Wait, things were just getting interesting!” when a scene felt like it ended prematurely.

I hope that Jorge Moreira and the rest of Ferocious Smirk Productions can take this experience and turn this into a stronger show through a series of workshops. As for now, I would pass this show.

Details

  • Doomed plays at the Factory Theatre Studio. (125 Bathurst St)
  • Tickets are $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.
  • Tickets can be purchased 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.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
  • Content Warnings: Mature Language, Audience Participation.
  • This venue is NOT wheelchair-accessible.

Performances

  • Wednesday June 29th, 07:00 pm
  • Friday July 1st, 11:00 pm
  • Sunday July 3rd, 01:15 pm
  • Monday July 4th, 08:45 pm
  • Wednesday July 6th, 04:00 pm
  • Friday July 8th, 08:45 pm
  • Sunday July 10th, 02:15 pm