Lukey (Swimming Lessons For Shut-Ins Theatre) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Lukey, at the Toronto Fringe Festival is a “micro-play” and an “alleyplay.” It was clear from the Fringe materials that the latter meant that it was located in the Fringe Club Alley, behind Honest Ed’s, but I was unsure what a “micro-play”, listed as being performed at 8:30/10:30 pm with a running time of 120 minutes could be. I was led to believe that it would be a short play running continuously between the two times listed, but it is not. It is one play, around 45 minutes, and the actor/writer Robert LaRonde said he was only going to do it once, at 9 pm, when I asked.

It’s in a small shed with a seating capacity of 7. It is very close quarters, with the actor performing at touching distance from the audience. In such a setting it would be ludicrous to have any sort of a fourth wall, so the audience is incorporated into the story, a violent tale of strife between two young brothers.

I lost the plot a few times, probably because I was suffering from some claustrophobic anxiety: if you really do not enjoy being very close to strangers in a very small space, I do not recommend this show. The story does jump around from different narrative points of view, and into tangents not directly related to the action, but I probably could have followed it if I hadn’t been quite so on edge.

It is a formidable task for an actor to carry on a whole show on his own in different voices and in painfully close proximity to the audience. And the subject matter was hardly easy either. So the fact that he lost his lines a couple of times and had to look at the script is understandable, but it further unnerved me.

There was a point where he gave an audience member a prop to use later, but when that time came said that no, that prop wasn’t to be used and took it away. I couldn’t tell what the point of that was.

However, the acting, when it was happening, was very good, and the story wasn’t bad. This could be the beginning of a very successful play down the road.

Details

  • Lukey plays in the Shed in the Fringe Club Alley, behind Honest Ed’s at Bloor and Bathurst
  • Showtimes are: July 05 08:30 PM, July 06 06:30 PM, July 08 08:30 PM, July 09 08:30 PM, July 11 06:30 PM, July 12 06:30 PM, July 13 08:30 PM, July 15 06:30 PM
  • Alleyplay tickets are Pay What You Can