One of the great things about SummerWorks is the spirit of experimentation.
You get the sense that the artists are trying out something new, risking things in front of a discerning audience. “Flirting with the unknown,” that tagline on the program cover (the one featuring Matthew MacFadzean and… who are the others?! Is that Norman Yeung?), is absolutely true.
It’s there in Gord Rand’s The Trial Of Thumbelina, a fascinating (if not entirely successful) combo of vaudeville show, fairy tale, absurd comedy and ecological warning.
It’s there in Corrina Hodgson’s brilliant dialogue in Simply Told, a play that’s anything but. The script mixes monologue and stream-of-consciousness in a thrilling way, and our sympathies for the characters shuttle back and forth.
It’s there in Norman Lup-Man Yeung’s Jasmine, which is brave enough to mix English and Cantonese (without subtitles), and also to throw in a ghost or spirit as if it’s an everyday occurrence.
It’s there, of course, in the Sarah Sanford-directed Appetite, a gloriously physical and clown-inspired show that makes you hunger for more works like it. (Note: Sanford is giving a masterclass in “Lecoq Melodrama” this Saturday, Aug 11, from 10am to 6 pm – email: firstname.lastname@example.org; it’s extremely limited).
It’s there in Finer Noble Gases, a bizarre piece by NYC playwright Adam Rapp that’s given an anarchic production by Kevin Walker and the Bleecker Theatre Company. This show will make you feel that every play needs to end with a blowout rock number.
It’s there in Pinteresque and I Think Of You, Erendira, raw autobiography-inspired works created and performed by many artists I’ve never heard of but hope to in the near future.
The list will get longer, and my horizons expanded, as I continue to see shows throughout the week.
// go to and read all of NOW's SummerWorks reviews