The Centre of Everything Civilised (Winterbird Arts) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

by Michelle Barker

Poetry and prose blend seamlessly to tell the tale of a passionate summer affair.

The heat outside of Theatre Passe Muraille’s Extra Space was pretty unbearable this afternoon, but it was completely worth enduring in order to enter the world that the company of The Centre of Everything Civilised created.

I entered the space to find the piece’s two actors holding each other in a warm embrace under a blanket and the theatre’s simple lighting. A broken foot makes it difficult to sit anywhere but the front row, and I quickly realized that the afternoon’s production was definitely going to be intimate. The atmosphere for this stunning, sexy, heartbreaking, and incredibly intelligent play was set instantly.

The play is the story of a love affair between two students, a man and a married woman. Through a mix of poetry and prose, they weave the tale of their summer together as they became wrapped up in a relationship with an expiration date.

The Centre of Everything Civilised features the beautiful Antonio Cayonne, an actor whose talent is difficult to ignore (and trust me, you won’t want to), and the incomparable Kate Werneburg whose capacity to exist in every moment of this complex piece left me speechless. Werneburg also wrote the piece.

A very simple set made up of random props aided by a clever lighting design and soundscape made the multi-faceted plot easy to follow.

Beautifully written, beautifully acted, and beautifully lit. See it with someone you love, see it with your best friend, see it by yourself… just see it.
The Centre of Everything Civilised is playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Extra Space (16 Ryerson Ave)
– Performance times
Sun, July 4 9:45 PM
Mon, July 5 9:15 PM
Tue, July 6 10:15 PM
Thu, July 8 6:15 PM
Fri, July 9 5:15 PM
Sat, July 10 1:00 PM
– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only), Online at www.fringetoronto.com, by Phone at 416-966-1062, in person (June 30 – July 11 only) at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 ($10+$1 convenience fee), and $5 for FringeKids (no convenience fee for kids tickets).
– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows