The Most Honest Man in the World is a one-man show conceived and performed by Andrew Wade, produced by Spired Theatre, and presented as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. Wade takes the audience through his personal journey of becoming as emotionally honest a person he can be – all while creating a makeshift polygraph device on stage.
Shortly after Wade takes the stage, he acknowledges that we are seeing his Fringe show in Toronto, and he actively does away with a formal separation between himself and the audience. In that same vein, Wade isn’t “playing Andrew in a show about Andrew”; he is Andrew.
Wade has never written this show – he simply tells his story with the aid of cue cards and physical mementos. At the end of the show he attempts to give himself a lie detector test about a significant moment in his past.
A lot of moments in this piece resonated with me since I am also of the ilk that attempts to be as honest as possible in my relationships. I respect the very act of Wade being so brutally honest about his experiences. He shares so much without being self-indulgent.
Something that strikes me about this show is that every performance is going to be different due to the lack of a script. Furthermore, so much of the performance is about how Wade perceives and interprets the past in the moment of the performance.
I’m curious to know how Wade works through his own memories over the course of the run or how he’s already done so in previous runs.
How does he draw the line between making himself completely vulnerable and creating a safe space for himself. More practically speaking, how are the polygraph test results different each time?
At the end of the show, Wade asks us if he should hang onto a memento from a significant relationship, or physically do away with it; more meaningfully, if he should hang onto the memory, or actively let it go.
To close the show, Wade presents us with a box and some slips of paper and pens. The box has two slots with two options: “let it go” and “hold onto the memory” (the wording isn’t exact). We’re invited to work through our own memories or experiences with the given materials.
I was prompted to think of my own past experiences. In the last year or so I’ve become pretty good at letting go of traumatic moments, often out of necessity.
All the while, however, I’ve tried to keep those experiences in my memories, albeit at a distance. The trauma may be in my past, but the experiences themselves are still a major part of who I am.
I wonder why Wade presents us – and himself with that memento exercise – with a dichotomy between letting go, and holding on.
I’m curious to know why, according to him, we can’t do both, and in a healthy manner? Or, perhaps I’m misreading his intentions and he’s in the same camp as me after all.
The Most Honest Man in the World results in a set of characteristics not easily achieved all at once – it is engaging, emotional, and oftentimes very funny. I would encourage you to attend and share in Wade’s story.
- The Most Honest Man in the World plays at the Tarragon Extraspace. (30 Bridgman Ave.)
- Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 at the door. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), from the festival box office down Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor West), or from the venue box office starting one hour before the performance. Venue sales are cash-only.
- Be advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time, and arrive a few minutes early to avoid disappointment.
July 04 at 10:30 PM
July 07 at 03:00 PM
July 09 at 05:15 PM
July 10 at 05:45 PM
July 11 at 08:45 PM
July 12 at 05:15 PM
Photo of Andrew Wade provided by company