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Theatre Review: Fresh Meat 8 Closing Weekend

By Livia Belcea on October 19, 2019

MILK

Created and Performed by: Brit Johnston & Amanda Logan
A Red Rabbits and Toasted Theatre Collaboration

Amanda Logan and Brit Johnston are seasoned playwrights and actors and this was apparent in their presentation of MILK. From the elaborate and thoughtful script to the staging, lighting, and progressive sequence of events, MILK told the heartbreaking and forgotten story of missing and stolen Indigenous children in 1960–1970 Canada. The performers approach this delicate subject with the necessary awareness and sensitivity while not diminishing the magnitude of this horrific part of Canadian history and the heaviness of the subject.

Permissible

Created and Written by: Brooke Trealout
Performed by: Noah Marcus & Brooke Trealout
Direction: Carley Richards
Dramaturgy: Aly Murphy

Permissible is a well-written comedy about a devout Jewish newlywed couple navigating their first night together, as they are pressured to consummate their marriage while considering the boundaries of their faith. Oh, and they are both virgins! Brooke Trealout and Noah Marcus have excellent on-stage chemistry and the dynamic between them made watching this performance an absolute joy. The dialogue is clever, funny and masterfully written. Not a second is wasted or drawn out, the staging worked perfectly considering the small space they had to work with, the performance was polished and we were even treated to a few costume changes. This play is a hit, pure and simple. Mazel tov!

Clurmate Churnge

Created and Performed by AL Connors and Richard Gélinas

With exuberating energy, humour and a lot of science, AL Connors and Richard Gélinas tackle the issue of fighting climate change while educating their audience through the use of props and poignant facts. The duo came out of the gate hard and consistent, but the audience was so generous with their laughter that AL got distracted mid-way and needed Richard to remind him of his lines. I suppose that’s a good problem to have, but it did interrupt the incredible flow and connection they had established with the room. The play also felt segmented, and I got the feeling that AL and Richard were presenting just a few slices of a much longer performance, which I hope Clurmate Churnge eventually grows into. Despite these small hiccups, I have never seen anyone explain the doubling of the Federal Gas Tax in such a creative and funny way while trying to remain non-partisan, which only reaffirmed the relevancy of this play and our performers’ intelligence and wit.

cinciP (/kin-kip/)

Created and Performed by: Robin Star Breiche & Connor Price-Kelleher

Engaging an audience and telling a story without the use of words can be challenging, but this does not pose a problem for Robin Star Breiche and Connor Price-Kelleher. This talented pair offered their audience a well devised and rehearsed skit with a warm yet heartbreaking message. They make excellent use of space, both on stage and through the audience, and incorporate plenty of fun props and good costuming to tell their story, which makes cinciP (/kin-kip/) a pleasure to watch.

Call Me By Your Ndn Name: The Unsolicited Special

Created, Written by, and Starring: Randy Schmucker

Through stand-up comedy, pop culture references and Indigenous advocacy, Randy Schmucker shares his woes and triumphs dating as a young Anishinaabe gay man in today’s politically correct climate and modern dating scene. Randy is a natural performer, but stand-up comedy can be unforgiving at times, and the delivery of some of his punch lines didn’t quite make a knockout. Nonetheless, Randy’s accounts were hilarious and had the audience laughing, and he did a good job at incorporating his experience living as an Indigenous man in a predominantly white society. Randy saved the best for last—he played beautifully on the guitar and impressed with his fabulous singing voice.


Visit freshmeatfest.com for the full lineup and schedule. Fresh Meat 8 runs until Saturday October 19 at Arts Court Studio (2 Daly Ave). Doors open at 7pm and shows start at 7:30pm. Tickets cost $20 online and at the door.