At the end of the world, when a devastating plague looms at your door, it’s the relationships at home that will do you in. At least, that’s the idea presented in Plague: a sic love story, produced by Ou est Billy Ou Ou at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
The black comedy examines the dynamics between a couple with an infant who are among the last survivors of a plague. The daily quest for community, food, and purpose is undermined by the quintessential conflicts of a couple in close quarters. The real threat of death brings new gravity to their mind game question: If you had to save me or the baby, who would you pick?
The show balances an ominous tone of impending doom with comedic elements that prove that the end of the world is no cure for awkwardness. Michael Boyce as the germophobic optimist Bernard simultaneously elicits feelings of despair and laughter with his use of physical comedy. Morgan St. Onge, as the realist Remy, provides the moral centre, keeping the overall solemn tone of the apocalypse from drifting too far into satire. Lucy Meanwell’s creepy background music helps to create a sense of comedic unease as we sense the threat of death drawing near.
Although there are no shortage of apocalyptic tales these days, playwright Matthew Heiti brings a fresh eye to the daily struggle of the survivors. The end of the world just might involve a lover’s spat over tomato soup in a hermetically sealed apartment. Heiti achieves a fine balance for the couple between being challenging and tender. Survival may be a community effort but ultimately it comes down to each individual.
I wasn’t sure whether to chuckle or hide beneath my seat. Plague: a sic love story is worthy tale whether you’re looking for laughs, a philosophical conversation, or want to stir up some nightmares of your own.
- Plague: a sic love story plays at The Theatre Centre’s BMO Incubator. (1115 Queen St. W.)
- 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.
- Content Warning: Mature Language.
- This venue is accessible.
- Thursday July 6th, 09:30 pm
- Saturday July 8th, 01:30 pm
- Sunday July 9th, 01:00 pm
- Monday July 10th, 07:30 pm
- Tuesday July 11th, 10:15 pm
- Wednesday July 12th, 04:45 pm
- Friday July 14th, 01:45 pm
- Saturday July 15th, 08:00 pm
Photo of Morgan St. Onge by Michael Boyce