Fringe Review: The GamePlay

THE GAMEPLAY by Alison Beckwith, Natalie Scagnetto and Ryan Gordon Taylor (Young and Crazy Collective). Factory Studio. July 7 at.


THE GAMEPLAY by Alison Beckwith, Natalie Scagnetto and Ryan Gordon Taylor (Young and Crazy Collective). Factory Studio. July 7 at 6 pm, July 9 at 7 pm, July 11 at 9:30 pm, July 12 at 2 pm, July 13 at 5:30 pm, July 15 at 2 pm. See listing. Rating: NN

At a surprisingly short 40 minutes (although advertised as an hour), The GamePlay could have benefitted from 20 more minutes of tension, which only comes in flashes. The plot could have been finessed, too.

The two-hander from George Brown Theatre students and alumni opens with loner 18-year-old Ben (Ryan Gordon Taylor) preparing for a party where hell meet his online gamer buddies for the first time. When a mysterious woman (Natalie Scagnetto) is the only guest to show up, Ben begins to question what she says about herself.

Taylor displays impressive acting chops at the right moments, such as when he has to show tenderness discussing his life as an orphan. Scagnetto delivers some one-liners with a deadpan look that is hilarious just on its own.

But the story fails to answer too many questions by the sudden final bow. And the script doesn’t raise the stakes early enough to keep our curiosity piqued to find out what game was really being played in Bens basement.

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