The Pain in my Ass or: How to Adult, by Lost in Line Productions, is currently playing in the Toronto Fringe Festival. It follows Solomon (Feerass Ellid), a young man who just graduated from university as he decides what to do next with his life: do a graduate degree, go to teacher’s college, teach English abroad, or something else entirely.
His parents (Laura Ball and Evan Williams) are frustrated with his indecision and his girlfriend Emma (Marina Maye Gwynne) is more than frustrated: she does not want to have a long distance relationship so she needs to at least know if he will stay or go. Throughout all of this, Solomon is dealing with a a pilonidal cyst that requires surgery.
I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for Solomon. He had an immense amount of support, and as much time as anyone to think about his life plan. He had a lot of options and resources denied less fortunate people. And I’m tired of privileged male characters being caught up in angst while the women in their lives orbit, waiting on their decisions.
Emma does eventually make a life choice of her own, but it’s thrown in at the end of the show. Most of the time is spent listening to Solomon whine. One of the better aspects of the play is the charming, teasing love felt for Solomon by his goofy brother Luke (Lee Poichuk.) Laura Ball also showed some promise in comic timing.
The pace of the play would be much improved by appropriating existing set pieces for different scenes, instead of darkness and lugging furniture around every five to ten minutes as they switched scene locations from living room to bathroom to hospital.
I found The Pain in my Ass or: How to Adult a pain to watch, but the play might ring closer to home for very young men who feel overwhelmed by the prospect of the rest of their lives.
- The Pain in my Ass or: How to Adult plays at the St. Vladimir Institute. (620 Spadina Ave)
- 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.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Content Warning: Mature Language.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
- Wednesday June 29th, 10:30 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 05:15 pm
- Monday July 4th, 08:30 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 12:00 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 03:30 pm
- Friday July 8th, 12:00 pm
- Sunday July 10th, 08:30 pm
Photo of Feerass Ellid, Laura Ball and Evan Williams by Joseph Garrett