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Photo: Justin Vanleeuwen

Theatre Review: Light(less) at undercurrents festival—until 02.16.18

By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier on February 7, 2019

Laura and Samara spend their days as non-profit unicorns and fill every spare minute exploring the world of musical theatre as BFFs (that’s Broadway Friends Forever).


The undercurrents festival is produced by Ottawa Fringe and is a winter festival of shows that highlights original theatre. Hosted at the Arts Court Studio, Ottawans can take in a variety of shows in 11 days.

We were able to check out Light(less), one of the many shows on the schedule. It is a 75 minute adventure that deals with what it’s like to be an outsider, and what it feels like to constantly be trying to fit in—and it goes through all of this without using any words.

Franco Pang plays a boy who looks to find himself and his light by traveling through the deepest depths of sea and sky, all in an effort to capture the moon.

The performers use minimal staging and props, but in an impactful way to tell this wordless story. It is also accompanied by a video game like keyboard score done live, and hand drawn projections for backgrounds (on a white backdrop that ends up being way more than just a white sheet).

Travel through city, sea and sky is depicted through those projected backdrops and through puppets and shadows to display the boy traveling and other characters that come into play.

The actors have caricature-like performances—using over exaggerated expressions and movements, which helps to better relay the story to the audience.

The music, played by Rachel Lloyd, is not only a major factor in the story but a character in itself. The performers are often breaking the fourth wall and interacting with the musician as another member of the story. The actors have caricature-like performances—using over exaggerated expressions and movements, which helps to better relay the story to the audience and had audience members laughing literally from beginning to end.

Though a very cute and comedic show, the story made a real connection with many audience members, as they become emotionally attached to the characters—expressing sounds of shock, sadness and joy as they follow the boy through his journey.

As the boy keeps working throughout the show to his final goal of capturing the moon you may be wondering, will he capture it in the end? And if so, will it be everything he thought it would be? Find out and see Light(less) during its four show run at undercurrents until February 16th.


Light(less) continues at the Arts Court Studio as part of undercurrents and runs until February 16th. Check the website for schedule. Tickets are $20 for individual shows or $100 for a full festival pass. The show runs about 75 minutes with no intermission.


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