Short Story Long (A Literary Tour de Force)- 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

by Lucy Allen

Toronto Fringe contest winner shows some great performances and writing for the stage.

I’ll admit, after a full day of Fringing and walking around in the sun, my feet were dragging by 10:30 on my way to the Tarragon to see Short Story Long. Not only was it late, but it was listed as a drama and I prayed that I’d be able to keep my eyes open through the more serious subject matter. By the time the show finished though, I and every other audience member were more awake than ever.

Short Story Long, winner of the 2010 Toronto Fringe Playwriting Contest, takes place after the death of famed novelist Lincoln Kennedy. He’s left behind his wife Julianne (Jacklyn Francis) and his former lover Amalthea (Kaitlyn Riordan) who are both now forced to meet thanks to Kennedy’s odd request in his will.

Simply said, Short Story Long is a familiar story but it’s one that’s told well. It goes all the directions you’d expect it would, and a couple that you don’t, but there was never a moment during the piece that I found myself bored or wishing that it would go to the next scene. Through a mixture of two person scenes and flashbacks in monologue, the story of the two women in the shadow of a literary giant is told and you feel for both of them. Thankfully, it’s not all grim and there are also¬†some nice comedic moments to break up the drama.

What helps of course is the performances, which are solid and give great voices to the characters of play. Jacklyn Francis as the widow can bring acid to her words but also let’s her mask drop every once in a while to show the hurt underneath. Kaitlyn Riordan also surprised me halfway through the show with some great emotional outbursts after a mostly upbeat attitude through the show.

I’m usually wary of seeing dramas, but with one this well written and performed, I’d be a fool not to recommend it. If you’re in the mood for a good story and engaging characters, check out Short Story Long.

Details:

Short Story Long– Venue 2 Tarragon Theatre Extra Space- 16 Bridgeman Ave.
-Showtimes:
Mon, July 5 4:30 PM – 228
Tue, July 6 1:15 PM – 232
Fri, July 9 11:00 PM – 258
Sun, July 11 5:15 PM – 269
– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by Phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 ($10+$1 convenience fee)
– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows