What if the Canadian government banned the sale, production and consumption of alcohol and imposed a modern Prohibition? Would you rise up for your right to imbibe? Theatre Brouhaha’s production We Are The Bomb, playing at the Paddock Tavern as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, explores this scenario in a hilarious farce.
We Are The Bomb is one of this year’s site specific productions and takes place in the Paddock Tavern, Toronto’s third-oldest bar. The audience members are seated on bar stools and banquettes along the sides of the space and the action takes place around them. The production makes excellent use of the entire space and is one of the best-staged site-specific shows I’ve seen in recent years. And it’s a bar, so they serve before the show–so that’s a definite plus.
The show is tightly-paced and a strong ensemble cast ensures a polished, well-timed delivery of the dialogue.
Benjamin Blais gives a scene-stealing performance as Jack, an ersatz, would-be Che Guevara who is an idealistic and charismatic but ultimately stupid revolutionary leader. Elliott Loran delivers a hilariously quirky performance as Cam, Jack’s bookish and neurotic associate/assistant who helps concoct a plot to declare the bar a sovereign nation making the audience members its unwitting citizens. Unfortunately things quickly go awry and the situation starts to devolve into The Lord of the Flies.
The action culminates in an epic battle between Jack and Cam featuring some of the most well-executed fight choreography I’ve seen. The action literally happens inches from the audience. It’s incredibly physical and certainly doesn’t look like “stage fighting”.
Kat Sandler’s script is clever, the scenario is outlandish and the laughs land a good pace throughout the show but the show also has surprising moments of tenderness. I think the show works very well as a farce but with a little more script development it could also be a brilliant satire. Ideas are put on the table and larger concepts are hinted at but I wish these were elaborated on a bit more. The show could make a great political allegory.
Regardless, as it is, We Are The Bomb is a hilarious show featuring some amazing performances and is definitely a great night out.
- We Are The Bomb plays at The Paddock (178 Bathurst St.)
- Show times: July 03 07:30 PM, July 04 07:30 PM, July 05 07:30 PM, July 06 07:30 PM, July 07 02:00 PM, July 09 07:30 PM, July 10 07:30 PM, July 11 07:30 PM, July 12 07:30 PM, July 13 07:30 PM, July 14 02:00 PM
- All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at the Fringe Club, 581 Bloor St. W, July 3rd-14th, noon – 10pm (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge)
- Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows
Photo of Benjamin Blais by Zaiden