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Fresh Meat Reviews: Logan and Juliana

By Colin Noden on October 15, 2021

Apt613 is stoked to share a sneak peek of two performances at the Fresh Meat festival. Check out the reviews of Logan and Juliana, with time to spare to snag some tickets for showtimes this weekend!

Note: Apt613 was given permission to review two of the five plays being performed in this weekend’s Fresh Meat festival lineup.


Logan by Ludmylla Reis

Warning: You’re going to want to shout out suggestions or poke your neighbour during the wardrobe selection scene in Ludmylla Reis’s Logan. I’d say go for it.

Who knows what some fringe-style audience participation would do? It may be a director’s nightmare, but I saw that twinkle in Harley’s eye when they did that little pause after each wardrobe change.

Logan (Harley Wegner) is going for a job interview and wants to make a good impression, but also be true to themselves. They want a look that says it but doesn’t shout it. If you work in a clothing store, you’re probably groaning right now.

Harley’s shifting persona was swift and fluid as they changed from one outfit to another. It was a masterful display of Logan’s chimera nature, uncloaked by the stylistic messaging of the clothes. It makes you wonder who is hiding in the clothes walking by you every day. We see Logan wondering the same thing as they go through their closet of urban camouflage.

This play gives us a peek into the issues and misunderstandings which affect people who live both inside and outside the colour book lines of life. Big issues are fine in theory but get difficult in the everyday routines of life. Empathy is easy with Logan. Who hasn’t built a cloth mountain before a big event? Logan’s goal of self-discovery and self reveal is inspiring and instructional.

Logan, the play, also contains inspiration and a literal instructional template which would make things easier for everyone. Inside and outside the lines or scribbled across the page of life.


Juliana by Cullen Elijah McGrail

Juliana poured gasoline on the nervous energy of the evening, setting the standard for the night. Opening night of this year’s Fresh Meat had it all, from raging insomniacs to an iconic Charlie Brown moment. It was a fun mix of puns, nuns, and cliches. All delivered in clever ways.

 

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The audience was in a receptive mood, and Juliana, the singing nun, delivered. Alli Harris as Juliana, the unfortunate nun, fed off that opening night energy. The play soon had a pantomime quality, where everybody is in the adventure together. The sillier the better.

I gather that I’m not supposed to spoil any plot surprises. I will say that Sister Juliana has run afoul of the fauna around her. She’s finally driven to her knees when confronted by her wronged accuser. Alli glides through all the transitions of mood. It would be easy to lose the balance of Juliana’s character and break the story’s immersive flow or sidestep into farce.

Alli Harris delivered a powerful performance, which unfortunately put pressure on playwright-performer Cullen Elijah McGrail. His performance in the final scene left me with an uncomfortable desire to laugh or ponder if there was an underlying coded moral. It’s great when both are intended, but it takes a strong performance to pull that off. But hey, he wrote this fun experience, so he deserves his kudos.


Logan and Juliana are playing at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Ave) from Oct. 14-16, 2021. It’s part of a five-show evening of short plays from 7:30-10 p.m. All shows aim at a 20-minute run time. In-person tickets costs $25, while Livestream tickets are “pick your price” from $5, $10, $20, or $50. Visit the Fresh Meat website for the full lineup, schedule, and COVID-19 safety information.