Joel Benson goes up against the ropes in Fibber.
FIBBER (Theatre Gargantua). At the Theatre Centre. To October 18. 416-260-4660. See Continuing. Rating: NNN
If you hand a young ensemble an inventive idea and some rope, sometimes they hang themselves. Not so with Theatre Gargantua's newest production, Fibber.
Staged on a set made from 2,000 feet of rope with over 1,020 hand-tied knots that the physically and artistically strong five-person cast mount, climb and reconfigure, Fibber is writer-actor-set designer Michael Spence's exploration of truth. Director Jacquie P.A. Thomas fuses text, choreography, live and recorded music and animated projections, resulting in a visually vibrant work that flows with funky rhythms.
Scenes connect thematically, but only Spence's writer persona recurs. Everyone else plays an assortment of briefly introduced characters. The strongest scenes place them in familiar situations, as lovers discussing their relationship, shoppers in a store, friends in a yoga class. Thomas's physical staging adds unexpected emotional depth as they interact. Monologues don't work nearly as well, however, suffering from less dynamic staging and text that verges on the contrived.
Despite the production's innovation, it can get repetitive, and the initial thrill of seeing Victor Mare's amusing projections dissipates.