I live by myself, so I spend a lot of time on my own. When I first moved into my own place I was a bit worried that I’d get bored or lonely without anybody around, but I’ve actually found it really liberating. The idea that we become our unguarded, true selves when alone is the starting point for the blood projects’ intimate, site-specific show Inside, now playing as part of the SummerWorks Performance Festival.
After checking in at the box office behind the Pia Bouman School with your small group of fellow audience members — the show only admits eight spectators per performance — a guide leads you on a short walk to a house where you’re then divided up and escorted on a track from room to room in order to individually experience a collection of eight one-on-one scenes, each with a different solo performer.
We’re told we’re to be a fly on the wall; the performers will not acknowledge our presence and we’re not to speak or interact with them; we’re to be voyeurs, merely there to observe them in their intimate moments alone with themselves.
I tend to enjoy these intimate performances where you are the sole audience member and the performer is performing exclusively for you, but the scenes in Inside are different than what I’m used to. These are highly naturalistic performances; the performers are not reciting monologues or executing dance choreography for you. They’re behaving as they would if you were to set up a hidden camera to observe them when they’re on their own. It’s an introspective piece on the nature of being alone.
How much you enjoy it will depend on your penchant for voyeurism and observing people in their day to day lives. There’s no story arc to any of the scenes and nothing really “happens” in the show. I enjoyed it, but I definitely engaged with it more like art than theatre. There wasn’t that audience-performer dynamic that I’m used to, and instead I spent my time introspectively watching each performer and wondering who they were and what they were thinking or feeling at that time.
I definitely found myself connecting with some performers more than others based on how much I was able to relate to them or sympathize with them from what I inferred of their scenarios. I also really appreciate the fact that the company chose to cast people of colour, and it certainly helped me connect with the naturalistic nature of the show when the people in it look like the people I’d see in Toronto.
If you’re looking to indulge your voyeuristic side it might be worth checking out this unique collection of intimate moments.
Inside: Starting Location: Pia Bouman (6 Noble Street)
- Thursday August 4th, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
- Thursday August 4th, 9:30 PM – 10:45 PM
- Friday August 5th, 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM
- Friday August 5th, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
- Saturday August 6th, 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM
- Saturday August 6th, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
- Saturday August 6th, 9:30 PM – 10:45 PM
- Sunday August 7th, 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM
- Sunday August 7th, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
- Monday August 8th, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
- Monday August 8th, 9:30 PM – 10:45 PM
- Wednesday August 10th, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
- Wednesday August 10th, 9:30 PM – 10:45 PM
- Thursday August 11th, 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM
- Thursday August 11th, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
- Thursday August 11th, 9:30 PM – 10:45 PM
- Friday August 12th, 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM
- Friday August 12th, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
- Friday August 12th, 9:30 PM – 10:45 PM
- Saturday August 13th, 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM
- Saturday August 13th, 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM
- Saturday August 13th, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM
Individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Youth Series tickets are $10, Live Art Series ticket prices vary. Tickets are available online at summerworks.ca, by phone at 416-320-5779 and in person at the SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St). Open August 2-14 from 10am-7pm. Cash and credit accepted.
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows.
- Photo provided by SummerWorks