The Demonstrator (GITA Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

A demonstrator is a marketing gimic — the name given to a clear plastic display pen that reveals all the internal bits. In The Demonstrator, by GITA Productions, the pen plays a major role. It’s a tool that condemned a journalist, and the one she hopes will set her free. The play promises to explore the “motives and morals behind a mysterious article” that has the town crying foul.

We meet Audrey, a journalist who wants to be a novelist. She’s currently out of work; now infamous for publishing an article about her editor raping her and then retracting said artcile just days later. I think we’re supposed to think that the retraction was the real lie. (It would have been nice to know that this was a story about rape, complete with rape details and a scene from the rape itself — there should be a trigger warning in the description.)

Oh, and Audrey has an imaginary friend that I feel is supposed to be symbolic for something, but either it was too late at night or I’m too far removed from English Lit. to draw the connection.

I think the confusion I felt about what was happening was the fault of the vague script, not the players. Krista Hovsepian, the actor playing the malgined journalist (and a host of secondary characters) was talented and passionate. I enjoyed her banter with her imaginary friend, which was Gilmore Girls-esque in that it was fast-paced, intelligent and no one ever talks like that.

There was also an adorable side character, a kid that delivered newspapers Audrey refused to read. The discussion about journalistic ethics I was expecting never materialized, but it was my fault for assuming that was what the play was about. Thing is, Audrey is actually a novelist at heart and the real battle for her was finishing her book, which somehow was tied to the imaginary person she’d conjured up.

See this play for a unique take on writers block, rape and the culture that keeps victims ashamed and violators safe from justice.

Details: 
Photo of Krista Hovsepian by Krista Hovsepian Photography 

The Demonstrator is playing at Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College St. Toronto.

80 min.
Wed, July 6 10:30 PM 903
Sat, July 9 7:30 PM 917
Mon, July 11 3:00 PM 928
Tue, July 12 8:30 PM 937
Wed, July 13 2:00 PM 940
Thu, July 14 10:30 PM 952
Sun, July 17 4:30 PM 969

Tickets:

– 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

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