Going into Guayoyo Creative Collective’s (GCC) production of Exit for the Toronto Fringe Festival, I was wary of what I was about to see. While I am a fan of almost anything experimental, I’ve also been disappointed enough times to approach self-proclaimed absurdists with caution – caution that is when it concerns my limited finances. Of course, reviewing for Mooney has its merits…
…but, regardless, my fears were unwarranted. The production was excellent! I would have been more than happy to include this show in my Fringe value pack.
Exit tells of the beautiful and yet terrible ordeal of leaving the motherland for a country of imagined possibilities. When the Clown (played by Isaac Luy) enters, every inch of him is pulsing with that nervous energy of being in a place that is as terrifying as it is exciting. He greets us as he is moving into a new home on the other side of the equator. Such events are rather sublime, aren’t they? So much to endure and yet to be grateful for in starting afresh.
While clowning is yet to be seen as an art form as legitimate as other types of physical theatre, it has rather familiar manifestations in the popular media. The red nose and oversized shoes that clothe the depressed comedian came immediately to mind as I read the synopsis for Exit. What else could be hiding under the bare mask of Clown? Well, more than I had thought.
I feel very connected to Isaac and Daniela Becerra’s story. I will be moving to France soon and in my last days in Toronto I am super aware of how much I love my life in this city. Even so, I am compelled to leave. I won’t get into it here, but it’s got to do with the heart. In the same way, Isaac is afflicted doubly by his compulsion to change the way things are and the loss of abandoning everything he knows.
This is the pulling feeling that makes clowning the perfect medium for Exit’s story. The Clown wrestles, literally, with himself to come to terms with his new life. Through the struggle, a life becomes clear behind the gauze of political colours and social issues. A manic but coherent voice, unafraid to laugh at itself.
One last note: I’ve always felt hesitant to respond to performers when they beckon because I’m not sure whether their invitations are rhetorical. Isaac Luy does a great job of clarifying the situation. Know that your presence is respected and your attention congratulated. Don’t be reluctant to interact with the performance!
July 5 – 11:00pm July 6 – 9:45pm July 7 – 1:45pm July 9 – 10:45pm July 10 – 2:30pm July 11 – 3:30pm July 13 – 8:45pm
- Individual Fringe tickets ($10) are available during the festival, at St. Vladimir’s Theatre (1 hour prior to each performance), cash sales only. Latecomers will not be admitted.
- Advance $11 tickets available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416.966.1062, ext. 1, or 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.