3 seeds productions Shoreditch Madonna playing at Toronto’s StoreFront Theatre is a Rent-esque story that will intimately draw you in and connect you with the human spirit
Shoreditch Madonna is one of those productions that leaves me really happy to be, in my small way, contributing to Toronto’s indie theatre scene. There are moving productions quietly being staged behind storefronts and down alleys all over the city and I want to make some noise about them! I want Torontonians to be checking upcoming shows at their favourite local theatre the same way they would music listings at their favourite local bar.
StoreFront Theatre is one of those theatres for me, and 3 seeds productions’ Shoreditch Madonna is further proof why. The description for this play didn’t really interest me – young artists having a dramatic time living together in London’s East End sounds like a story I’ve heard before – but it’s being staged at StoreFront so I trusted it to be good.
And it is.
Shoreditch Madonna is a meaty piece, so well written (by British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz) that I’d read it. This Canadian premiere feels lovingly put together by 3 seeds, steeped in the energy of a cast and crew proud of the beauty they’re putting into the world.
The story is a classic one – young people confused and in love. It is Rent-esque; a premise that will almost feel ‘old’ to my generation of twenty-something urban artists, but we still recognize ourselves in it.
The moral is that life is hard, but not too hard. The characters take the drama of their lives very seriously, and the loss and gain of love trumps all else – even art. It is a beautiful display of human pain and joy!
Beautiful is the word for the universe Justin Tensen has created in his impressive directorial debut. The performances are strong enough that this piece could take place on an empty stage, but Reuben Looyenga’s set design situates the plot perfectly.
This is not the kind of play that will make you question your own existence, leave you with a handful of puzzle pieces, or ask you to stretch yourself toward its appreciation.
It’s the kind of play that requires only your seat in a chair and your eyes on the stage. It will draw you intimately into the lives of others and keep you there until you leave the theatre feeling better connected to the human spirit.
Shoreditch Madonna left me with that good-feeling glow that only great theatre can. I recommend it.