ICARIA by Number Eleven Theatre, directed by Ker Wells, performed by Varrick Grimes, Elizabeth Rucker, Alex McLean and Jane Wells. Presented by Number Eleven and Clyde Umnie Co. at the Great Hall (1087 Queen West). To March 31, Wednesday-Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 2:30 pm. $12-$15, Sunday pwyc. 416-591-0964. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
you can't go home again. ok, you can, but guaranteed you'll be carrying a lot of emotional baggage. In Number Eleven Theatre's collective piece Icaria, the mythic tale of Icarus gives some cohesion to Daphne's (Elizabeth Rucker) memories of her troubled childhood and family.
Logical narrative is rejected in favour of the spilling out of shards of recollection, including tension between mother and father (Jane Wells and Varrick Grimes), fights between father and son Thomas (Alex McLean, the most magnetic of the actors), a picnic interlude and the mother's departure from the family. A key incident is Thomas's fascination with flying and the tragic consequences of that fixation.
What buoys the show, created by the actors and director Ker Wells, is the company's physical and vocal work and the surreal images they literally thrust at the audience. Four-part songs -- a mix of eastern European chants, sea shanties and celtic songs -- give colour to the piece.
Just as powerful are a parade of household furniture and lanterns, a fairy-tale fight between a stilt-walking giant and a fearless human, and a ride on a child's wagon, all of which feed the viewer's imagination and build toward an elegiac conclusion.