Hushabye (Blood Orange Theatre) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

When you dream at night, are your dreams created by your subconscious? Are they your dreams to keep or are they owned and filed away by a Ministry? And if your dreams are stored in some cosmic database, can you search the files for someone you’ve lost? This is Mary’s quest in Hushabye, a Blood Orange Theatre production written by Anna Standish and directed by Sarah Miller-Garvin.

Mary (Jennifer Fraser) is a troubled university student who lost an old friend in a car accident and searches for her every time she sleeps. In her waking life, she develops a relationship with her math professor (Ron Kelly) who also finds his dreams taken over by the Ministry of Dreams, namely Adel (Darwin Lyons) from the Department of Foresight.

The show is intensely driven and scattered with deliberate humorous moments to break the tension. With a cast of three and a minimal set, the production allows for the talent of the actors to shine and drive the story. There are a few times when the show comes off the stage – namely when Mary recalls vividly the accident that took her friend – and into the aisle of the audience, or dreamers, allowing the close proximity to deliver high emotional impact.

As I attempt to sum up my impressions of the show I find myself rather torn. I enjoyed the show and found the intensity of the subject matter to be the right amount to affect me but not too over the top.

Although my overall impression is a good one, I’m having trouble finding memorable moments that stay with me. It might have something to do with the malfunctioning on-set projector. I feel like it’s like one of those movies you need to watch twice to soak it all in.

This was the opening performance for Hushabye at the Fringe Festival which leaves over a week’s worth of opportunities to catch the show again and hopefully develop a stronger opinion of what is still a really good show.


Hushabye is playing at the Factory Studio Theatre (125 Bathurst St) on July 7 at 8:45 pm, July 8 at 1:30 pm, July 9 at 6 pm, July 10 at noon, July 12 at 1 pm, July 14 at 7:45 pm, and July 16 at 5:15
– Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only.
– Late comers will not be permitted.
– Tickets are also available online at, by phone at 416-966-1062 or in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts (736 Bathurst St). Advance tickets are $11 – $10 + $1 convenience fee.
Money saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.