WILD/SOCIETY is made up of two mini-plays. In the first one, Rabbit (Melissa Oei) is a country bumpkin turned wannabe city slicker. Raccoon (Mika Laulainen) is her ill-mannered old friend from the forest. The plot: Rabbit is setting up a high-class tea party in her new townhouse to impress her fellow urbanites, but no one shows up, except Raccoon who turns up uninvited.
The characters are pretty black and white, but it works. Rabbit embraces open-concept design, French terms and condos: “If it’s not new, it just won’t do.” Is Rabbit our stereotypical millennial?
Raccoon doesn’t care about what others think, or about property values or interior decor. While she is disagreeable and eats all the sandwiches, she does manage to help out pregnant Rabbit by putting her midwifery skills to work. I won’t spoil the wonderful birthing scene — the highlight of WILD/SOCIETY — but only say that it is extremely clever.
Things go really wrong when Rabbit and Raccoon realize that this townhouse is about to be bulldozed to make room for a condo. And as a conclusion to this story, Rabbit must flee from the city and go back to her roots — the forest.
The second mini-play is about two money-hungry, foul-mouthed penguins who are hiding from society after being involved in criminal behaviour. They also deny global warming and say things like “don’t hate me because I’m successful” and “environmentalists should support prosperity” and “it’s survival of the fittest.” You get the picture!
Their conversation comes to an abrupt end when icebergs melt beneath them and the water level rises, and I think they drown.
As you can see, both plays are dark and dour, and the environmental element is strong. What was enjoyable was that the play never got preachy, probably because of some light, humorous moments. If you want to see a Fringe play that might drive social or political action, see WILD/SOCIETY!
- WILD/SOCIETY plays at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace. (30 Bridgman Ave)
- Tickets are $10 at the door, $12 in advance. 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 Warning: Mature Language.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
- Friday July 1st, 07:00 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 04:00 pm
- Monday July 4th, 02:45 pm
- Tuesday July 5th, 08:15 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 09:15 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 01:45 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 09:45 pm
Photo of Melissa Oei provided by the company