Grounded in Fantasy (Accidental Crossroads) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

A woman suffering from depression (Zane Banyan) finds herself suddenly aware of the characters in her mind, the ones who act out the fantasies that return her to happiness. They are equally confused as to why they can suddenly be seen. This is Grounded in Fantasy, directed by Pamela Barker, and it`s currently playing in the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace.

All four characters, or “aspects“ of the woman`s personality are distinct from one another, clearly representing a different part of her mind, whether it be sexual or intellectual. Each aspect was delightful and entertaining, though Ash Catherwood stands out particularly as his comic timing and reactions are spot on.

I appreciated how the live band was incorporated into the show as another figment of the woman`s imagination rather than simply being present. Without spoiling the plot, the interactions with the band following that point are also particularly amusing. I enjoyed the drummer (Kevin Graham) immensely, although he was apparently an understudy for my show.

I did have a few minor issues with the script. Occasionally the dialogue is a little odd, as it doesn`t always sound natural. Rather, it sounds like how writers think people talk to one another. Fortunately the actors do a marvellous job making their conversations sound as natural as possible. The resolution is a bit unclear, but it doesn`t seem to take away with the joyous feeling you have as a result of the show – assuming you don`t mind some sexual content and mature language.

Despite thinking the script needs just a slight bit more work, I really enjoyed myself and left the theatre feeling quite satisfied with the experience. Grounded in Fantasy is an enchanting play that’s worth catching before the festival is over.

Details:
Grounded in Fantasy is playing at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace (30 Bridgman Avenue) until July 16, 2011.
– Show dates are July 11 at 6:15pm, July 12 at 8:45pm, July 15 at 11pm and July 16 at 2:15pm.
– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)
– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows

Photo of Zane Banyan.

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