Time Stands Still (at the Toronto Fringe Festival, produced by Eclectic Theatre and Jason Murray) was not what I expected, it had way more depth and balance. I thought it would be a show filled with war imagery that focused on the political situation in Iraq, but the beauty about this show is that it could have been set anywhere, talked about any war and told the stories of the countless innocent people with families and children who are mere victims in these situations. It’s also about the people who jeopardize their lives to cover these events hoping that the world will someday actually see and listen to the voices of the thousands of people far, far away for whom war is a way of life. Their only reality.
The story follows a couple, a photographer (Kirstin Hinton) and a journalist (Jason Jazrawy), who have just returned from covering the war in Iraq. The photographer, played spectacularly by Hinton, is recovering from her bomb-related injuries and eager to return to the field while her supportive journalist partner is happy to nurture her back to health and leave their war days behind them.
At its core I think this show is about relationships and how different people cope and heal differently and also grow in ways that aren’t always in the same direction. The show is really well balanced with plenty of comedic relief. The play follows the relationships of two couples who couldn’t be more different – which was my favourite part. It’s easy to get caught up in a singular point of view provided by the two veteran journalists, but then there’s Mandy, their editor’s girlfriend (played by Carleigh Beverly) who has a naive, almost entitled take on life and keeps bringing us back to “our” safe North American reality and what we should all expect from our comfortable lives. One thing she said really stuck with me – and you’ll get the reference in its entirety when you see it, and you really really should – was about the photos and stories we see about war. Most people flip through a magazine and read a story about a distant, unrelatble war and it’s sad and gut wrenching in that moment and then we flip a page and it’s gone. As sad as that is, for most of us, it’s true. And there’s so much to this show that I’m not sure I can discuss without giving away much of the plot but it’s amazing in all its layers.
Time Stands Still is a Tony-nominated play by Pulitzer winner Donald Margulies and everyone should go see it. I talked to an audience member after the show and she said, “I wish it hadn’t ended when it did. It felt like there was so much more to say and I was really getting into its intensity.” I have to say that 90 minutes without an intermission is usually my threshold but I had to agree with her and it’s not because I didn’t think the show had more to say but for me it was like finishing a great book, you’re left with that tiny bit of emptiness that leaves you wanting more. I’m not sure there’s a bigger compliment for a show.
July 05 at 05:45 PM
July 06 at 10:30 PM
July 07 at 08:15 PM
July 10 at 12:00 PM
July 11 at 07:30 PM
July 13 at 08:30 PM
Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West). Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details.
LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.
Photo of Kirstin Hinton, Jason Jazrawy, Sam Rosenthal and Carleigh Beverly by Digital Fabrik