Surplus-Value Theatre presents Vectors of Their Interest at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, a bizarre and twisted dark comedy about the struggles of the unpaid intern. It’s a struggle many of us fresh-paint recent graduates endure — the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed ‘I’ll do anything to make an impression’ attitude regardless of how utterly off-the-wall the boss’ request may be. And in this story, it’s weirder than most.
You feel for Bowman (played by Jack Everett), he just wants to do right by the company — even though he’s greatly outnumbered by the amount of estrogen in the room, and despite the fact that this particular company, The Viragon Capital Group, has taken to marketing used and soiled women’s underthings for that particular niche market. He’s overwhelmed, trapped in a corner, but really just wants the job.
This is a strange site-specific performance, set up in the living room of a lovely Victorian home located at 106 Albany Avenue (at Barton and Albany off Bathurst). Unlike some site specific shows where the audience is asked to move with the action, in this piece only the living room is the stage.
It’s strange because the story is a peculiar one to follow — right off the bat the audience ponders a number of questions: women’s underwear? What is this company? Who are these people? Why is a business meeting held in a Victorian home? And as a few of these get answered, more questions arise.
At times it feels like I’m Alice being lead down the rabbit hole wondering where this story is going, with the destination being as odd as the journey.
The performances from the actors grow like a slow burn. At first I found the banter between the women (Olivia Clarke as Jess, Jennie Egerdie as Vic, and Marina Moreira as Moll) a challenge to keep on top of. The way they spoke felt very, for lack of a better term, ‘valley girl’ but then gradually their real selves and motivations are revealed. Especially Egerdie as Vic near the end, she plays crazy rather well.
This is a performance that didn’t immediately grab my attention or my accolades but it’s also not something I didn’t like. Do I have mixed opinions on how the whole production came together? Yes. The story leaves me with question marks hanging, but the performances are good and grow on you. There are laughs, but they’re oddly placed.
Admittedly this is not a performance I would go out of my way to add to my Fringe list, but it’s interesting if you have time for some off-the-wall site-specific theatre.
Vectors of Their Interest plays at the 106 Albany Ave (near Bathurst and Barton Ave).
July 04 at 07:00 PM
July 05 at 07:00 PM
July 07 at 07:00 PM
July 08 at 07:00 PM
July 09 at 07:00 PM
July 10 at 07:00 PM
July 11 at 07:00 PM
July 12 at 07:00 PM
July 13 at 07:00 PM
LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.