What makes people who they are? And how does society strive to mould us to a certain form that goes directly against our human nature? This concept is explored in Curiosity Collective‘s dance/physical theatre piece Return at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
During the course of 50 minutes we see a girl grow into womanhood – from being born to becoming a young woman. She doesn’t fit in as a child, and turns to popular culture – which pushes beauty products and “reality” television on her. She’s then a teenager facing backlash after a drunken tryst at a party. She leaves town, turns to partying and alcohol, etc.
The plot of Return is not terribly original. Unfortunately, societal pressures such as these on young women are quite common, and I will admit that I found myself “checking out” occasionally. However, it’s the physical theatre aspect of Return which makes it an interesting watch.
The three performers, Caitlin Hutt, Rebecca Bobrovskis and Alyssa Bartlett are all very talented dancers and physical performers – the story they were telling was quite clear, even when they weren’t speaking. Hutt played the girl, and the other two played parts of her psyche – an idea that was very easily understood. The sound, lighting and single prop (a silk sheet) were also used effectively to communicate the story. It was very beautiful to watch.
I’ll admit that I was confused by the ending, which felt very abrupt. I won’t spoil it for you, however, it left me feeling a bit let down. I understood the character arc until then. I couldn’t see any connection between the climax and the conclusion.
Return plays at the Robert Gill Theatre. (214 College Street).
July 05 at 05:45 PM
July 06 at 07:30 PM
July 08 at 09:00 PM
July 09 at 04:15 PM
July 12 at 03:30 PM
July 13 at 01:00 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 Caitlin Hutt, Laura Piccinin & Alyssa Bartlett by Zahra Saleki & Tallie Garey.