I’m a bit of a nut about Greek mythology and, like many people who have spent more than a few minutes on the internet, I’ve been unable to escape the gong show that is the US Presidential Election. In Gods We Trust from The Lactors’ Studio combines those two things into a piece of satire that I figured would be right up my alley and a solid addition to 2016’s Toronto Fringe Festival.
The concept is simple: three plays that take place between two people while surrounded by an audience partaking in Free Times’ fare. This year Alex Karolyi returns with one piece, while Chris Widden and Sheila Toller bring new voices to the program. It appears that this year Shadowpath decided to step away from the domestic themes of 2015 and instead chose a more surrealist approach.
Written and performed by Mark Kalzer, Raymond Ho and Magdalena BB it chronicles the events that transpire between three friends as they watch the legendary collapse of the Leafs in their 2013 Playoff run. The play explores many themes like missed opportunities, failed dreams and abandonment while also exploring the ecstasy and agony of being a sports fan.
King of the Castle is a subversive piece of psychological theatre by House of Rebels Theatre that explores childhood trauma and abandonment in an emotionally draining, yet cathartic, hour at 2016’s Toronto Fringe Festival.
When you read King of the Castle’s synopsis, there’s a sense of what I would describe as whimsy attached to it; a young man finds one of his imaginary friends murdered and must reconnect with the other figments in his mind in order to solve the mystery. It’s a concept that made me imagine a brightly coloured set contrasted with a hard boiled detective story. King of the Castle is nothing like that.
Madam Mao looks at the most feared woman in China, at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto
Making a comeback from its sell out run at the 2014 SummerWorks Festival, Madam Mao provides audiences with the chance to delve into the mind of one of the 20th Century’s lesser known political figures with powerful performances and a challenging script.
Toronto Masque Theatre’s Fairy Queen is a New Experience
17th century theatre has always been a passion of mine, but I must admit the courtly masque style slipped past my radar. Without knowing anything about what I was getting into I was unsure as to what to expect when attending Toronto Masque Theatre’s production of The Fairy Queen. What I experienced was a fun and creative blend of the past and modern experience. Continue reading Review: The Fairy Queen (Toronto Masque Theatre)
YPT’s Scarberia is One of the Best Shows of 2016
With Scarberia, Young People’s Theatre have produced a play that not only explores the desperation and confusion of growing up but also goes far deeper into issues that transcend the traditional view of youth oriented theatre.
So often we assume that when something is aimed at the under 18 crowd that it’s going to be simplistic or even worse patronising. Writer Evan Placey has avoided both of these pitfalls and created a powerful script that YPT took and ran with, creating one of the best things I’ve seen in 2016.
George Brown Theatre students bring The Beaux Stratagem to life in Toronto
I personally get a thrill whenever I have the opportunity to see live Restoration Comedy. It was the subject of one of my term papers in University and I’ve always been fascinated by the cultural importance that the style had over the citizens of England during Charles II’s reign. Getting a chance to see a production of George Farquhar’s The Beaux Stratagem was a real treat for me and I was really excited to see what the students of George Brown would bring to the material.
Toronto’s Socratic Theatre Collective presents a gender-swapped take on Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a character that gets a lot of interpretation, from the BBC’s Sherlock, to the CBS procedural Elementary to the films starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law (Just to name some adaptations from recent history), when a writer needs a hyper-intellectual detective with barely functioning social skills the resident of 22B Baker street is a go-to choice.
The Socratic Theatre Collective have followed suit with their latest production, putting their own spin on the classic detective by genderswapping almost every character from the Holmes canon and sending them to run amok in a metafictional examination of the classic stories.
Toronto’s Groundling Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale
For many people, the famous stage direction “Exit, pursued by a bear” is the only thing they know about Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. This is understandable as the tonal dissonance between the play’s first three acts and the last two makes it a difficult play to explore when we’re first learning about Shakespeare in school, but it’s unfortunate because it’s also one of the more interesting of Shakespeare’s plays for that exact same reason.
It’s also a fantastic choice for Groundling Theatre‘s debut piece in their new home at the Coal Mine Theatre.