You can find some great Theatre at the Toronto Fringe Festival this year, and one place you’ll find it is here—at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. Ampex Entertainment’s production of Apostles’ Creed is Theatre with a capital T.
There was a palpable excitement in the air as people lined up for admission. And once in the venue, I found myself seated before a stage set simply with two chairs, a table and some candles. The deep red lighting builds the anticipation for something intense, and that is exactly what I got.
This is great Theatre—excellent script and masterful performances. The text by Andrew Domingues Frade (who also directed) grapples with issues of Betrayal, Hate, Forgiveness—all with capital letters—and is both intimate and larger than life. This is, after all, Theatre!
There are gentle and delicate moments. There are also brutal, violent and dangerous moments. The plot concerns a priest who seeks the aid of a psychic when he cannot find solace from his demon within the confines of his church.
Harrison Coe is both distressed and distressing as Father Thomas. Here is a scared and angry man. Coe’s performance captures the essence of how hate can be born out of vulnerability, from a fear of some profound failure.
Quancetia Hamilton is funny and affecting as the psychic, Lidia. She is both amused and frustrated by this conflicted man who has come to her for guidance.
Both performers also portray a third character—each, in turn, are possessed by the spirit of Father Thomas’ dead brother whose homosexuality has caused Father Thomas’ inner turmoil and tested his faith.
Deep conflicts are not easily resolved. Life is scary and in the face of it we feel small and fragile. The play shows us how we can either let that vulnerability fuel rigidity and hatred, or else allow it to forge the strength to be accepting and compassionate.
“God has placed in our hands the responsibility of life.” That is my favourite quote from the play and I hope it appeals to both atheists and people of faith.
The play ends on such a note. Nothing is particularly resolved, but something important has been acknowledged. Peace and Redemption (with capitals) are possible, but they must be earned.
Apostles’ Creed is a must see!
- Apostles’ Creed is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Ave.).
July 4 – 10:30pm
July 6 – 2:15pm
July 7 – 2:15pm
July 8 – 5:15pm
July 10 – 7:45pm
July 11 – 3:30pm
July 13 – 7:00pm
- Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only. Late comers will not be permitted.
- Advance tickets are $11 ($9 + $2 service charge) are available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062 ext 1, or in person during the festival at the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W).
- Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows
Photo of Harrison Coe and Quancetia Hamilton by Quantel Wronski