This is Where We Live is nothing short of two dynamic performances telling one unique love story. Playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, Discord and Din Theatre’s presentation at SummerWorks 2015 shows what talented performers can do with a great script in a sparse space.
When “Chloe from the Underworld” – a porn star’s neglected love child with a limp – and “Odd Boy Chris” – the son of lush parents – come together there is the immediate back and forth of budding young love between two misfits from opposite sides of the world. Both stuck in a small town they long to leave, Chloe and Chris dance and literally run around each other falling deeper into the “underworld” of love.
Both Jenna Harris and Tim Welham are stand outs in their own right. Individually they nail the emotion and the comedic timing. One would think because they are so strong independently that when they come together for scenes one or both might falter as their energy would be halved.
This was not the case. I feel their talents shone through and that they shared and complemented each other and the stage in such a way that it was almost as if three plays were being performed. One woman, one man, and a duo weaving all three together with perfect timing.
Harris commands the stage as Chloe. We hear her before we see her and I love this decision by writer Vivienne Walshe and director Taryn Jorgenson, as it sets up what we can expect from Harris and Chloe the rest of the way.
Chloe is a bombastic character who has had to fight for everything she has against parental figures who are more children themselves and Harris plays this with a talented reckless abandon, committing to every punch. Chloe isn’t all pomp and circumstance, however, and when things quiet or flip, Harris comes to balance with them as well showing us her range.
Tim Welham is hilarious as Chris and even more hilarious when he drops into the characters of Chris’ parents. Welham’s Chris is energetic and also shy at times, especially when he first spies Chloe, wanting to “rewrite the script” of so many failed love stories. His range and aptitude are evident with the scope of what he played, sometimes acting Chloe’s dark words as well. There is no part of the stage that Welham didn’t explore in his quest with Chloe.
I have already gone on at length of the chemistry between Harris and Welham, but have to note a dinner scene in particular where I wasn’t sure if I would be able to stop laughing. Also, these were physical roles and I love that each actor took on and succeeded at the challenges that can come with that.
This is Where We Live plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Ave)
- Sunday August 9th 5:00pm
- Monday August 10th 10:00pm
- Tuesday August 11th 7:30pm
- Wednesday August 12th 7:30pm
- Thursday August 13th 9:45pm
- Sunday August 16th 7:45pm
Individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Live Art Series tickets are free – $20. Tickets are available online, by phone at 888-328-8384, Monday – Friday 8:30am-5pm, in person at the SummerWorks Info Booth – located at SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St). Open August 4-16 from 10am-7pm (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee)
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows
Photo provided by company.