I’ (Pulse Theatre Collective) 2011 SummerWorks Review

The play I’ is like a mass SummerWorks hallucination. It’s the story about a young woman who checks into a small room in Paris to write the World’s Greatest Play. Who doesn’t suffer from that recurring fantasy?

Emmanuelle Zeesman plays Writer. Shortly after being “tucked into” her room by Concierge (Michelle Polak), she meets her idol, I (David Macniven). There’s a bit of a Freudian id, ego and superego relationship between the three.

I himself is one dimensional and paper thin. I suppose that is the point. Writer is very young. Her bedroom back home is likely still plastered with posters of one dimensional pop stars. There’s no I in team, but there is an “I” in Bieber.

Concierge is the type of woman you hope to run into at the water cooler to share a laugh or gain some wisdom from.

Director and playwright David Hersh describes I’ as “absurd”. There certainly are a lot ridiculous things in I’. A “chorus” of dozens in a small Parisian room reminded me of The Marx Brothers having a couple hundred people over for dinner their train cabin.

I’m sure Harpo Marx himself would have loved Zio Hersh’s work on their shared instrument. The I-chorus and musicians were probably what I liked most about the play.

The choreography and inventive use of the great Theatre Passe Murraile Mainspace geography would put any tightrope walker to shame. You have to see it to believe it.

The absurdity combined with the lesson that we are our own idols. Writer only begins to write once she dismisses her idol. I’d love to hear the musicians play the old Sonic Youth song “Kill Yr Idols”. It’s a provocative song befitting of a provocative play. Both are fun and thoughtful.

So there is a lesson along with all this tasty absurdity? I think that this play might be a live performance of an old Twilight Zone episode!


I‘ is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue, near Queen and Bathurst

Thursday August 4th 10:30 PM
Saturday August 6th 12:30 PM
Sunday August 7th  8:00 PM
Thursday August 11th  5:30 PM
Saturday August 13th  3:00 PM
Sunday August 14th 10:00 PM

– All individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.artsboxoffice.ca, by phone at 416.504.7529, in person at the Arts Box Office (located at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., One block North East of Bathurst & Queen W. M-F 12PM-7PM, Weekends 10AM-8PM) (Advance tickets are $15 +HST and $1 service fee)

– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows