BREAKFAST (Theatre Centre/Independent Aunties). To June 1. 416-?538-?0988. See Continuing, in listings. Rating: NNN
Who knew breakfast could be such a sensual meal? And that’s without the spreading on or licking off of strawberry jam.
Co-?created by the Independent Aunties, Breakfast is the dark flip side of the troupe’s earlier shows dealing with the female experience. It explores the inner transformation of Marnie (Karin Randoja), a self-?effacing agoraphobe who spends her weekends indoors in her PJs. She wants something more from life, and with the aid of an affirmations-spouting self-help tape, she breaks down barriers she didn’t even know she’d erected.
Insecure from the start, with a beaten expression on her face, Randoja gives emotional weight to Marnie’s insecurities as she travels into a surreal landscape with the help of the coaching tape (voiced by Evalyn Parry) and a silent assistant (Anna Chatterton). Jumping from sexual fantasy to pain and anger, conjuring up childhood memories and current dream lives, Randoja makes us believe in this woman’s journey.
That journey, directed by Brendan Healy, is ultimately an empowering one. Its final scene offers Marnie an Eden-like awakening and a magical transformation that involves not only the character but also the space (designed by Julie Fox, lit by Laird MacDonald) in which she lives.