Exciting start to Toronto’s SoulO Theatre Festival with Chris Gibbs in Antoine Feval
Right off the top I have to say that I love Chris Gibbs. He’s a very funny man with impeccable timing and an impressive ability to ad lib with a straight face. Even though Antoine Feval is a play with a script no two performances are the same as Gibbs reacts to his surroundings.
Last night he dealt with the heat from the lights, an offer of water, and a bug in his mouth and made it all seem like part of the play.
Barnaby Gibbs is a self-deprecating, not very bright (thick as a brick) Victorian era gentleman trying to find a solid investment for his small inheritance. He loves Sherlock Holmes and has read all of the books, some of them more than once. One evening he meets Antoine Feval. They go on to set up a detective agency.
You may be wondering why I’m not going into more detail about the play. A couple of reasons. All you really need to know is that it’s very funny and that Chris Gibbs is a terrific performer and that if you have a chance to see it, you should.
The other reason? Last night was the only performance.
There are three more days of the SoulO Theatre Festival and there are six more one person shows. There are also daily Master Classes as well as Panel Discussions and Workshops.
Tracey Erin Smith is the founder and Artistic Director of SoulO Theatre. The mandate of the Festival is to showcase the best solo works around and also offer a chance for everyone to learn how to do the same solo work. SoulO Theatre offers a “What’s Your Story” 10-week program and an intensive “Solo Show ” weekend workshop. Tracey says that everyone has a story to tell and her goal is to help them tell it – eventually as a one-person show, or not.
The other one-person shows in the festival are:
- Cancer Can’t Dance Like This – Daniel Stolfi
- Desperate Churchwives – Diane Johnstone
- Beowulf or Gilgamesh, You Decide! – Charlie Bethel
- Goddess – Alex Dallas
- The Naked Ballerina – Sarah Murphy Dyson
- Pecious, Like the Adjective – Precious Chong
Check the web site for performance, Master Class, Workshop and Panel Discussion times. I’d recommend buying tickets in advance. It’s a small venue.
- The first annual SoulO Theatre Festival runs until Sunday, May 26 at The Red Sandcastle Theatre (922 Queen St East)
- Check the website for show times as well as times for workshops and panels
- Mainstage tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, there is a festival pass available for $90. Panels and Workshops are $10 at the door.
- Tickets are available online by phone at 416-465-5609 or at the box office.