I waited in anticipation outside The Tarragon Theatre to see The Adventures of a Professional Corpse presented by Bent Spoons as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. Adventure, goofiness, tomfoolery, it is all in the title. Heading into the theatre I expected at least some those different scenarios.
With hopes high, I walked into the main space at Tarragon to find the stage littered with ladders transformed into all sorts of different props. I knew this was going to be a DIY production, maybe a diamond in the rough.
With any fringe festival you never know what you are going to get. Sometimes you may get a fully polished ready to go production, and other times you might find a production early in its developmental stages. Fringe provides a wonderful opportunity to test out and workshop plays. The festival gives companies the chance to find and fix the kinks in their productions in preparation for the next stage of the play’s life. The Adventures of a Professional Corpse is at the workshop side of the Fringe continuum.
Everything just fell a little short. The potential in the staging was seriously hindered by a giant make-shift curtain in the middle of the stage, effectively giving the actors only about half the space they should have had to work with.
As much as the actors worked to fill out the play, there is a certain point when you have to stop looking at the actors and start looking at the script. The Adventures of a Professional Corpse is one such instance. The script could have done with quite a bit more dialogue. There were many instances that relied solely on body language to carry the scene. These scenes left me confused and wanting more. Like any language, body language is universal but only if you know it.
Luckily this is Fringe, and this motley crew of actors has found themselves in the fortunate position of being able to move forward from where they are.
The Adventures of a Professional Corpse is playing at the Tarragon Mainspace (30 Bridgman Ave.)
July 05 07:00 PM
July 06 11:00 PM
July 08 02:45 PM
July 09 08:45 PM
July 11 02:15 PM
July 13 09:45 PM
July 14 12:00 PM
- 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
- Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating during the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Photograph by Jacklyn Atlas. Actors Neil Naft, Giacomo Gianniotti, Kristopher Pedlar.
One thought on “The Adventures of a Professional Corpse (Bent Spoons) 2013 Toronto Fringe Review”
I saw the late night show of Adventures of a Professional Corpse on Saturday. Fortunately, I had not read Ms. Letki’s comments in advance. As a Fringe show, I found it to be excellent. Set in the early forties, it perfectly captures the naivety of this pup fiction era through the clever use of language and period clothing. The pace of the piece reminds me of the great Marx Brothers movies. Given spacial limitations, I found the set to be extremely creative and dynamic. Also, how many Fringe shows use a foley artist for sound? The laughs were great and the audience seemed very appreciative of the actors’ efforts. None of this was highlighted by Ms. Letki. In fact, her review said little about the play and instead focused on her own expectations for the evening rather than what she experienced.
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