Strange, fun, and borderline whimsical, 25 draws audiences into a whirlwind of personas and emotion while using an intelligent blend of props and costumes to fill an intriguing 45 minutes. Produced by 1919paris, 25 is playing at Robert Gill Theatre until July 14th as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival.
25 is a two-hander starring Anastasia Wells and Elliot Delage, a dynamic duo with magnetic – if not unorthodox – chemistry. Wells and Delage constantly and masterfully shift power and control throughout their performance, creating compelling and energetic scenes in every new moment.
The props and set were cleverly implemented. I was actually surprised by the versatility of the items onstage – creative uses of crumpled paper and urns stick out in my mind. You can tell this is not 1919paris‘ first rodeo, and certainly not their first fringe. Their condensed set greatly exhibits the creative potential and usability that transient fringe shows like 25 can achieve.
Costumes were used to differentiate character changes in 25, and for the most part, they were effective. At times, transitions were choppy and slow, and at other times, they were unclear. There were moments while watching that I was confused by the rapidity of the costume/persona changes – particularly near the end of the show, as the loose ends of the story are tied.
The story itself was told in a compelling way and explored through a variety of unique characters at pressing times in their lives. Juggling multiple roles between the two of them, Wells and Delage navigate the stage with ease. But, despite their skill, roles began to muddle together toward the end of the performance, with a sometimes unclear distinction between characters. This is a small gripe in the wider scope of the show.
Overall, 25 was very well done. With a thoughtful set, charming cast, and unique story, this show is wholly worth your time.
- 25 plays at Robert Gill Theatre (3rd Floor, 214 College St)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in the very front row.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- 4th July, 7:00pm
- 5th July, 9:30pm
- 8th July, 1:45pm
- 11th July, 3:45pm
- 12th July, 5:45pm
- 13th July, 5:45pm
- 14th July, 10:30pm
Photo of Anastasia Wells and Elliot Delage taken by Fern Courarie.