The Bright Idea (Ton O’ Fun Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

The Bright Idea is a playful children’s play that will appeal to kids ages 4 – 10 or so I’d say.  Narrated by a night-light, this piece follows two children as they help a lost shadow return to shadow land.

There is a bit of  ‘choose your own adventure‘ where the audience is given the choice between two things to move the action forward.  I loved the idea of choose your own adventure in play format, but I’m not positive it worked here.  I think the choices were too similar.  They wouldn’t actually take the story in different directions, only change one action.  Of course, I realise that developing, rehearsing and executing a more complex version where the choices drive the story may be a bit ambitious for a Fringe show.

There were more grown ups than kids in the one I saw, so the reception to the ‘which path should they take’ was luke-warm, but I think that little kids would probably really get into the idea of being able to choose what happens next.

I also felt like there was a missed opportunity for a bit more shadow-puppet play during the piece. In my experience, kids love shadow puppets, because it’s something they can try at home on their own, they don’t need special equipment.

Bottom line, I think this is a piece that has a lot of potential with a bit of workshopping.  Where it stands right now I’d say it’s really just for kids.  I’m not sure there is a ton in this for adults as a stand alone piece.

While there is room for improvement, I do think kids would get a kick out of the piece as-is.  I also think that the 30 minute run time is a fantastic thing for a kid’s show.  I wish more of them were in the 30 – 45 minute range.



The Bright Idea plays at Palmerston Library, 560 Palmerston Ave

Thurs. July 7th @ 5:45pm
Fri. July 8th @ 8pm
Sat. July 9th @ 2:30pm
Mon. July 11th @ 1:15pm
Wed. July 13th @ 6:15pm
Thurs. July 14th @ 4pm
Sat. July 16th @ 1pm
Sun. July 17th @ 7pm

– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Fringe Tent at 581 Bloor St. W. (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)