Places to Wait (Aaron Simm) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Aaron Simm

Spoken word poet Aaron Simm of Victoria, B.C. (via Winnipeg) presents his new solo show at the Toronto Fringe Festival: Places to Wait which features a series of poetic monologues around the theme of waiting.

As the lights come up we see Simm seated in the waiting area of a gate at the Winnipeg airport, suitcase by his side. We soon learn that the 27 year-old Simm harbours a deep-seated resentment toward his hometown and is finally moving away. At least he will be once the winter storm delaying his flight has passed.

Simm is mild-mannered and unassuming. He eschews a big onstage persona in favour of a more low-key one. Simm’s script is a long form dramatic monologue written in his poetic style, replete with runs of witty turns of phrase. His delivery is earnest if a bit understated at times.

To be honest, the overarching conceit of waiting at the airport didn’t really work for me. I thought it came across a little too contrived. I understand he uses it to thematically link the disparate monologues together but I don’t think the parts of the show about waiting at the airport are the most interesting.

When Simm talks about being forced to eat dinner at the airport’s TGI Friday’s the observational humour is mildly amusing but where I think he really shines is when he delves into the history of the city of Winnipeg, explains the quirky Manitoba tradition of the wedding social, or offers personal remembrances of the death of a close friend. Much of the show is a love letter to the hometown he ostensibly resents.

So many of us in Toronto are originally from somewhere else. Maybe you’ve lived in a small town that you outgrew and needed to leave, but still harbour some residual fondness for. If so, you’ll probably be able to relate to Places to Wait.


  • Places to Wait plays at the Tarragon Theatre Solo Room. (30 Bridgman 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.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through an alternate route. Please arrive early and speak with the House Manager.


  • Thursday June 30th, 06:00 pm
  • Friday July 1st, 08:15 pm
  • Sunday July 3rd, 01:00 pm
  • Monday July 4th, 07:30 pm
  • Tuesday July 5th, 06:45 pm
  • Thursday July 7th, 04:30 pm
  • Friday July 8th, 10:30 pm
  • Saturday July 9th, 08:00 pm

Photo provided by the company