As soon as the actress, Nicky Guadagni came on stage I knew I was going to like whatever she did. There was something about her energy and her face which is so expressive and open that even before she spoke, I was Hooked.
Guadagni plays four different characters in this piece, moving swiftly from one to another with simple costume changes and an ease about her as if she is just shedding skin and growing a new one. Her physicality for each character deepens the differing levels of addiction all these women suffer from.
I was drawn in by all of her portrayals, my highlight being Unity Mitford because her story is the most interesting to me. (She was in love with Adolf Hitler). I am fascinated by the choices writer Carolyn Smart has made in choosing to represent these women and also the other three that were not part of this piece but are mentioned in the programme.
Smart has made some wonderful connections to all four characters as themes and ideas are shared across each monologue. I have to confess that I knew very little about all four women so if you are like me I would advise reading the programme beforehand to give you a little bit more back story.
The stage is very simply set with a wooden bench and a pair of shoes that are later worn, and the captivating Guadagni moves about it effortlessly. I did find that there was a lot of text to take in and by the fourth monologue I was losing my focus. I am not sure if it was the length of the piece or if because she was the least interesting character to me. I think three characters would have been sufficient, especially if the writing allowed little breaks so we could really have time to understand each story.
Hooked is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace
Sunday August 7th at 2 PM
Monday August 8th at 7:00 PM
Wednesday August 10th at 9:30 PM
Friday August 12th at 4:30 PM
Sunday August 14th at 11:30 AM
– 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