Review: Floating (Hoipolloi and World Stage)

By Sam Mooney

Hugh Hughes in Floating at Harourfront World Stage 2011Wonderful, whimsical, warm-hearted, wacky, wayward, wry… Floating – now playing as part of World Stage at Harbourfront – is all of that and more. Hugh Hughes and Sioned Rowlands have created a joyful 90 minutes of theatre.

Floating tells the story of the time that the Welsh island of Anglesy broke away from the bridge connecting it to the mainland and went floating around the Atlantic. The story really doesn’t matter, it’s an excuse for Hugh and Sioned to present the most low-tech multimedia show I’ve ever seen. Other than a couple of PowerPoint slides the whole thing could have been done in the ’50s.

Floating is funny – I giggled, chortled, tittered and guffawed my way through the show. Some of the humour is gentle, almost kind, some of it has an edge buried deep, and some of it is just weird.

The duo engage and involve the audience in completely off the wall ways. I found myself wondering “How on earth did they think of that?” at various points and wishing that I had thought of it.

Hugh rambles and explains, goes off in different directions, comes back to where he started and all the while Sioned backs him up by operating the media, talking with the audience, playing the part of other characters in the story, and performing fairly ridiculous stunts with a completely straight face. They’re a wonderful team.

And at the end of the show they stand outside one of the exits and shake hands and say thanks to audience members!

Fun, entertaining, what more could you ask for? Go see Floating.


-Floating is playing until Saturday, February 19th at the Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West)
– Performances are at 8 pm and last for 90 minutes (no intermission)
– Tickets are available at the Box Office, by phone at 416-973-4000 or online
– Tickets are $35.00 ($15.00 for students)

Photo of Hugh Hughes by John Baucher