Chantria Tram’s solo autobiographical show Someone Between, part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival, opened at Factory Theatre on Thursday. Tram plays herself and her mother, telling the story through dialogue, song, and dance.
It’s an amazing story. Tram’s family is Khmer-Krom. Her parents were entertainers in Cambodia and decided to escape to the west after performing a particularly big show. They travelled through the jungle with a baby (Chantria), finally arrived at a refugee camp and eventually made their way to Canada.
Chantria is caught between old and new cultures, between what her mother wants for her and what she wants for herself, and trying to find a way to have a relationship with her mother.
Tram switches seamlessly between the two characters, a slight change in the way she uses her body, the way she pitches her voice, and her accent, and voila, she switches from Chantria to her mother.
Alexandra Lord’s set was simple but evoked the temple. There was an altar with flowers and fruit, candles and incense, and greenery. Behind it was a gold doorway draped with red and gold fabric. It was lovely.
Tram’s story is well written, and her performance is excellent. Still, I didn’t connect emotionally with the play, and I’m not sure why. Usually, anything with a mother/daughter relationship speaks to me, especially if there’s conflict between the parent and child. I’ve seen similar plays about immigrant parents and first generation children and felt a connection.
I couldn’t feel any significant energy between the actor and the audience. Factory Studio Theatre was having air-conditioning problems and it was very hot in the theatre. Very hot is not my friend. Maybe that was the real issue. I don’t know.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t connect with the show. Every audience and every performance is difference. That’s the wonderful thing about theatre.
The show has all the elements to make it work. Go see it. I didn’t dislike it; I just didn’t feel a connection with it.
- Someone Between plays at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St)
- Remaining performances:
Saturday August 5th 12:00pm – 1:15pmSunday August 6th 7:30pm – 8:45pmMonday August 7th 5:00pm – 6:15pmTuesday August 8th 5:45pm – 7:00pmFriday August 11th 4:30pm – 5:45pmSaturday August 12th 6:45pm – 8:00pm
SummerWorks tickets are now Pay What You Decide at $15, $25, or $35, whichever suits your budget. All tickets are general admission and there are no limits to any price level. Tickets are available at the performance venue (cash only), online and in person at the SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street). Open August 1-13 from 10am-7pm. Cash and credit accepted.
- Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 7 shows.
Audience Advisory: Latecomers permitted up until 10 minutes after the start of the event. The August 6 show has been designated as a Relaxed Performance.
Photo of Chantria Tram by Martin Reisch