Horse (Theatre Hetaerae) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

The first thing you need to know if you plan on seeing Horse is that there are no washrooms. The second thing you need to know is that is because the show takes place in an alley. And yes, you really should plan on seeing it.

It’s always brave to do a site specific piece, you never know what the weather is going to be like (we were lucky) or if there will be any disruptions from people walking by (we were not so lucky) but thankfully the show and the actors are so captivating that it is pretty hard to be distracted by anything other than what is going on right in front of you.

The show centres around the character of Cassie trying to tell her story to a psychiatrist (in training) of the events that have happened a few days previous. We see her trying to piece it all together as the other characters chime in with various lines, so at the beginning we too feel the overwhelming chaos that she must be experiencing. As things unfold we learn about corrupt police, sexual abuse, drugs and mental illness. Ned Dickens (writer) does not hold back and it is to his credit. The script is strong and there are moments you want to look away or to not have heard what you just heard. Yet at the same time he introduces wonderful moments of light humour and some really interesting discussion points. The actors are all strong but a special mention has to go to Eleanor Hewlings who plays Cassie. She is incredible in this role.

With only room for about 12 people I highly recommend booking in advance – so when this play ends up in some big theatrical space, with beautiful lighting , props and set (as it deserves) you can say you saw it in it’s original incarnation; in an alley way.