As we all know, every day that passes brings us one step closer to the grave. But what if, one day, that changed? What if you woke up to discover that your life span is occurring in reverse? Well, one answer is in Little Lady, playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
The piece invites you into the home of a simple clownish character. At first, you may think that you are seeing her daily absurd routine as she goes about her business with ease and comfort. This old character delights in knitting, grooming, and other simple tasks using shocking methods that you will not expect. (How do you know you actually smell good?) That carefree lifestyle could have remained forever, if she just didn’t eat.
Alas, with each meal, she is shocked like a lab rat and unknowingly prompted to eat food that transforms her. The character begins the devolution of the aging process, growing younger as she sleeps. We watch this little lady grow from a decrepit old lady, to a buxom woman, to a young child, and, eventually, an unborn babe.
Each painful transformation allows the character to discover a new physical reality, and, thereby, new possibilities to relate to the world around her. She still maintains a similar daily routine, but her perspective changes as she gains more mobility and delights in her changing human form.
At one point, I did feel a slight sense of tedium when she began her daily routine for the second time. The actions were so similar that I wondered if we would be caught in an endless repetitive loop and stuck in the theatre forever. This might be due to the fact that the results of the first change are not as obviously expressed and explored as those that occur later on.
It is very easy to empathize with the character as the changes take place. Although no articulate words are spoken during this production, the thoughts and intentions of Little Lady are portrayed in different ways. Her combination of vocalized sounds and grandiose movements allows the audience to understand all of her intentions.
This clownish character has a captivating innocence that makes her strangest actions become all the more adorable. How often have you seen an old woman taste test her toes and think it’s absolutely cute? By creating a clownish character that surpasses the norms of expected human behavior, the possibility of an environment where you can grow young seems completely appropriate.
Age is not a factor when it comes to enjoying this production. Audience members ranged from approximately 9 years old to seventy years old. The constant laughter resonating through the crowd showed that they were attentive, and fully engaged in the slightest actions and antics of this unique character.
Little Lady is an exciting production that upholds the standards you expect of a performer from Cirque Du Soleil. Little Lady isn’t getting any older, so you better see it now. It’s time to awaken to a world of imagination and possibility.
- Little Lady plays at Venue 8 (Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse) 79 Saint George Street #302
- Showtimes are: July 04, Wednesday,8:15 PM; July 07, Saturday, 1:45 PM; July 08 Sunday, 9 PM; July 11, Tuesday, Noon; July 12, Wednesday, 11:15 PM; July 14, Saturday, 7:00 PM; July 15, Sunday, 4:00 PM
- All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). Tickets are also available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, or in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge)
- Value packs are available for anyone planning to see at least 5 shows.