The world premiere of What Linda Said, part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival, opened on Thursday at Factory Theatre to a full house. The play, by writer Priscilla Uppal, is based on imagined conversations she had with her friend Linda Griffiths after Griffiths died and while Uppal was having chemotherapy. Sound like a downer? Not at all!
Uppal’s script is wonderful. The conversations between the women are natural. The humour is often dark and biting. Sometimes the conversation is bitchy, sometimes angry, sometimes magical, and sometimes mundane; just what you would expect from two friends who love each other and know each other well.
Uppal is played by Kimwun Perehinec and Griffiths by Tracey Hoyt. Both are very accomplished actors who inhabited their characters and made me forget I was watching performers. I felt as if I was watching Uppal and Griffiths in real life. Ironic really, considering that one of the characters was no longer alive.
Thanks to director Gein Wong the pacing and timing were perfect, which I think added to the natural feeling of the piece. I almost felt as if I was sitting in a cafe, eavesdropping on a conversation at the next table.
Christine Urquhart’s set was simple but effective; a fold-out couch, a lamp, and an easel. The couch served as many things. Most of the time I figured out right away what it was and where the action was taking place. Once or twice it took me a couple of seconds but it was no big deal.
I loved What Linda Said. I keep thinking about it and friendship and love and life and death. I highly recommend the show. Just a heads up: you might want to take tissues with you.
- What Linda Said plays at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street)
- Remaining performances:
Saturday August 5th 2:30pm – 3:45pm
Sunday August 6th 5:15pm – 6:30pm
Monday August 7th 9:30pm – 10:45pm
Thursday August 10th 10:00pm – 11:15pm
Saturday August 12th 12:00pm – 1:15pm
Sunday August 13th 8:15pm – 9:30pm
- 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: Mature subject matter, coarse language, haze (13+). Latecomers permitted up until 10 minutes after the start of the event.
Photo of Kimwun Perehinec and Tracey Hoyt by Daniel Ehrenworth