Saturday, 16 July 2011

Fringe Review: Disappointing Breaking News

Breaking News
by Brett Haynes
presented by Triangle Pi Productions from Toronto, ON
Director: Brett Haynes
Cast: Andy Trithardt, Darcie Young, Jordan Probst, Sarah Sherman, Zach Apostoleris, Kate Kudelka, Andrew Petker, Noa May Dorn, Rick Jongejan, Lindsay Francisco, Claire Burns, Patrick Foran, Greg Moar, Lucas James
Genre: Comedy
St. Vladimir's Theatre
30 Min.
Patron's Pick: Performance added Sunday, July 17 (416-966-1062 or www.fringetoronto.com for details)

DESCRIPTION: ‘Breaking News’ is an interactive, absurdist piece that follows the reactions to the 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Welles’, ‘The War of the Worlds.’ The piece, even though mainly fictitious, includes actual quotations, reactions, and recorded documentation of the aftermath to this famous broadcast.

My Rating: ** 2/5 Stars
My Review: I did not like this play. I know this is contrary to many people's point of view, but when there are actors on stage when you enter the theatre, I expect them to be in character. The War of the Worlds broadcast is playing, but no one on stage in reacting with any credibility. When the flash mob style town hall meeting errupts and one woman beside me, and another behind me start yelling, I'm intrigued by the styling of the play, but sitting in the front row, I got a pain in the neck having to turn around to face the action. I know the point is to make us feel part of the town, but I found the staging annoying after a while, and from some of the faces around me, so did several other people. With no strong actors, and a weak script that doesn't add tension or develop character, I was bored. Nothing presented matched the excellence and dramatic strength of the Orson Welles broadcast everyone in the script is reacting to. When the conclusion occurred at the 25 minute mark it was very anti-climactic. Again, several people around me had the same "that's it?" expressions on their faces. Very disappointing.

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