All Things Need Saying is playing at Factory Studio as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival 2017. Written by Gregg Hebert, it’s a story about a mother’s relationship with her adult son and daughter, following the death of their father.
The play begins with the mother Abigail (Krisanne Langille) complaining about the neighbour’s garbage. She is terribly upset, especially since the waste can attract mean-spirited blackbirds, making her uncomfortable in her own neighbourhood. When her daughter Beth (Ariel Gerard) tells her to relax about it so Beth can concentrate on her upcoming wedding, the mother says she feels babied and assaulted. We slowly realize that the mom has much on her mind, namely the return of her son Chris (Brad Linton) who has been away from home and never even went to his father’s funeral.
For me, the generational divide was an absorbing element of the play. The mother seems to have a certain perspective on millennials: young people are care-free; they want everything to be easy; they don’t even respect what they wear. More seriously, again according to the mom, social codes don’t matter any longer, whether it’s putting out garbage on the proper day, or being available after a loved one passes.
The acting, especially by Langille, was strong. Langille makes the mother wonderfully uptight as she cleans the same areas over and over again and obsesses over the neighbour’s trash. And Gerard has a resonating scene in which Beth complains about always being the glue of the family when she wants to be the substance instead.
I personally felt that the dialogue was a bit long-winded at times. There seemed to be a few verbal exchanges that didn’t advance the story or add any interest. I think that if the script were tighter, the story would be even more compelling.
While the garbage situation comes up in the final scene and the mother makes a major announcement, there is no firm closure to All Things Need Saying. Only when the actors took their bows did I understand that the play was over.
All in all, I think that All Things Need Saying is a brave and honest production that needs a small bit of fine-tuning to make it more finished.
- All Things Need Saying plays at the Factory Studio. (125 Bathurst St.)
- Tickets are $12. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Scadding Court, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- This venue is accessible.
- Friday July 7th, 03:00 pm
- Sunday July 9th, 06:15 pm
- Monday July 10th, 01:15 pm
- Wednesday July 12th, 06:00 pm
- Thursday July 13th, 07:45 pm
- Saturday July 15th, 11:30 pm
- Sunday July 16th, 07:45 pm