Crossing into Lullaby – SummerWorks 2019 Review

Dian Marie Bridge sitting in a chair and reading a script

Crossing into Lullaby is a work in development, and part of the SummerWorks 2019 Lab programming. The best way I can describe the way it’s presented is that it’s like a staged reading, but with actors moving around the stage rather than sitting in place.

I love stage readings. They set my imagination free. Often, when I think back to them, I’m not sure if it’s a reading I saw or a play with a set and costumes that I’m remembering.

Dian Marie Bridge created the piece to examine the bindings of unspoken fears in her life; the result of her twin sister’s mysterious life-threatening illness at ten months.

She plays herself, and Tuku Matthews plays her sister. They both have beautiful voices, and I could listen to them speak or sing for hours.

The way that they presented the dialogue was very effective. Sometimes they would take turns speaking, sometimes they spoke together, sometimes one echoed the speech of the other.

As well as the characters telling Dian’s story, their mother has been recorded telling what happened when they were babies in her own words. I liked that. We didn’t just hear the story from Bridge’s point of view.

They sang two lullabies and invited the audience to sing with them. The words to Hush Little Baby and Rock-A-Bye Baby were projected on the back wall of the stage. Not many people sang, but a few did. Nice to have the lyrics to Hush Little Baby; I usually get lost after “Mama’s gonna buy you a lookin’ glass”.

I really enjoyed Crossing into Lullaby, the story was satisfying, and the performances were as polished as I would expect from a piece at this point of development. I’m looking forward to seeing the next stage in the evolution of this show.

This review is a snapshot of the first performance of a work-in-progress. The production is one of several pieces at the festival presented as part of the SummerWorks Lab programming introduced in 2018. The participants in SW Lab are still in the development process and will continue to evolve throughout the festival.

Details:

Crossing Into Lullaby is playing at the Theatre Centre BMO Incubator (1115 Queen Street West)

Performances:

  • Friday August 9th 5:00pm – 6:15pm
  • Saturday August 10th 6:00pm – 7:15pm
  • Sunday August 11th 12:00pm – 1:15pm

Warnings: Audience participation and mature themes

Information on Tickets and Passes:

SummerWorks tickets uses a Pay What You Decide system for every show: $15, $25, or $35, whichever suits your budget. All tickets are general admission and there are no limits to any price level.

Advance tickets are available up until 3 hours before show time and can be purchased as follows: Online, using the Buy Ticket link found on every show page; In person at the main SummerWorks Festival Box Office the Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West) – open August 8-18 from 12pm-8pm. Tickets purchased in advance are subject to a convenience fee of $2.50/ticket. Any remaining tickets will be made available for sale at the performance venue starting 1 hour before show time. Venue box offices accept cash only.

Money saving passes are available if you are planning on seeing at least 4 shows.

Photo provided by company