New Talent (Theatre Erebus) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By John Bourke

New Talent, presented by Hamilton’s Theatre Erebus, is a peek into the inner workings of Hamilton’s sex trade through the eyes of a single woman’s choice to become an escort.

Set in 1997 against the real-life backdrop of a massive and toxic fire in the city, New Talent features the writer and director Brian Morton as the matter-of-fact driver who introduces Christine to the world of the escort. Gregory Cruikshank plays Christine’s first client, a lovelorn computer technician who can’t find the time for a real relationship.

While New Talent does thankfully stay away from making moral judgments about the prostitution industry, I did find it to be a little too didactical: spending too much time trying to explain the industry, the characters and the people, and not enough time showing us the characters and the choices they make.

As an example, there is an interminable scene where the driver explains the mechanics of the industry to Christine, who then explains to the audience what she thinks of everything. On the other hand, the cringingly awkward motel room scene between Christine and the John is admirable in the simplicity of how it communicates the characters’ turmoil to us.

New Talent is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille, and as of the time of writing, there are a few more showings available:

Fri, July 9 9:45 PM
Sat, July 10 11:00 PM
Sun, July 11 4:30 PM