By Sam Mooney
I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting SICK! from The SICK Collective to be wonderful. Probably because most of the teen shows about teens that I’ve seen just aren’t that interesting. Or they take place in the bleakest future imaginable. Shows what I know. Sick is a fabulous show. Partly because of the people whose stories these are and partly because Judith Thompson listened to all the stories and then dramatized them.
The ensemble is fabulous. The thirteen actors range in age from 14 to 30, some have acting experience, some are new to the stage.
The stories are about what it’s like for each of them to live with a chronic illness or disability, about how they are viewed by their peers and by society in general, and about how they live their lives to the fullest without buying in to anyone else’s view. There was a lot of emotion but absolutely no self-pity. There is also amazing determination not to be defined by their illness or disability. They are all strong young adults who are making the most of their talents.
Parts of the show are heart-warming and parts are heart-rending. I couldn’t find my kleenex so had to sniff through the latter. So did the woman behind me. It wasn’t all grand emotion, there were light moments too, some very funny.
The audience thanked the players with a well-deserved standing ovation.
Definitely worth seeing!
– The Grace Project: SICK! is part of The Next Stage Theatre Festival and is playing at the Factory Theatre Mainspace at the corner of Bathurst and Adelaide.
– The show runs for 75 minutes with no intermission
– Tickets are $12 to $15. There are also packages available
– Tickets can be purchased online, by phone – 416-966-1062 or 1-866-515-7799, or at the box office inside the heated McAusland Beer Tent at Factory Theatre
– SICK! runs until January 16, 2011. Check the schedule for days and times.
Photo of the ensemble by Sarah Miller-Garvin