This Is About The Push (Seventh Stage Productions) 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

by Dorianne Emmerton

This Is About The Push is apparently the name of a three-part play, and this Fringe production is just Part One, entitled Opinions About The Invasion. I very much look forward to Part Two.

Going into it I knew that it was about women and war. I was apprehensive that it would be Drama-with-a-capital-D: heavy, dreary and lacking in humour. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, in Part One at least, it was entertaining and funny and there wasn’t any actual war.

The writer’s note in the program says that it “is not a literal representation of wartime, it speaks to how one reacts to the knowledge that they’ve been excluded and exploited.” That still sound heavy and dreary, doesn’t it? But the best art, in my mind, is that which takes heavy subjects and treats them deftly, with a light touch.

Opinions About The Invasion is about an embarrassing moment at an office BBQ party. That’s it. It’s the most trivial thing in the world – except that the playing out of this party and its embarrassing moment has so much to say about hierarchy and power and economics and gender.

The cast, Kimwun Perehinec, Jennifer Villeverde and Naomi Wright, are superb. Two of them play a multitude of characters of both genders and you always know exactly who they are. The timing is tight, the staging is great: this is definitely the most polished play I’ve seen at Fringe so far this year, even though it’s billed as just a workshop.

This Is About The Push Venue 13 Factory Studio Theatre

60 min.

Thu, July 1 8:45 PM – 1305
Fri, July 2 1:30 PM – 1307
Sat, July 3 6:00 PM – 1316
Sun, July 4 Noon – 1320
Tue, July 6 1:00 PM – 1333
Thu, July 8 7:45 PM – 1350
Sat, July 10 5:15 PM – 1363

– 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