Friday, 12 August 2011

SummerWorks Reviews: Hot Marmalade and Social Work

Mr. Marmalade
SW Description:
Comparable to an episode of Rugrats on LSD, Mr. Marmalade centres around Lucy, age four, and her abusive relationship with her imaginary friend, a violent, sex-obsessed drug addict. The play examines children pressured into adult situations. Our site-specific production takes audiences on the opposite journey, inside the walls of a kindergarten classroom.

Cast: David Storch, Amy Keating, Katherine Cullen, Sebastien Heins, Ishai Buchbinder, Jason Chinn, Producer: Simon Bloom, Designer: Jon Grosz, Audience Guide/Stage Manager: Ava Jane Markus.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Review: Four year old Lucy knows too much about the sully side of adult life. Her vocabulary is full of phrases she has obviously overheard, and her adult imaginary friend, Mr. Marmalade (David Storch) is a manifestation of what she has absorbed. Absurd and heartbreakingly funny, we laugh at the well-acted performance of Amy Keating (Lucy) as we follow her character around a classroom filled with childish displays of innocence that are in stark contrast to Lucy's worldliness. There were a few times when the audience is forced to move too quickly from place to place and there needs to be more adult-sized seats for those with mobility issues, but for the most part, I appreciated the staging and thoroughly enjoyed this biting satire. Warning: This is an adult play with adult language.

Remaining Performances
St. Mary Catholic School.
20 Portugal Square (one block North of King and Bathurst).
Kindergarten Room 219.
Saturday August 13th 3:00 PM

KASPAR
SW Description: Three overwhelmed Children's Aid workers fight a hopeless battle against an ever-growing stack of cases. To catch up, they speak in truncated language, piling new thoughts upon unfinished ones, only to get stuck even deeper in the pitfalls of paragraphs, moral obligation, failed judgment and hidden self-interests. Borders between clients and caretakers begin to blur.
Cast: Ese Atawo, Miranda Calderon, Jacklyn Francis Set & Costume Designer: Ashley Corley Sound Designer: Lyon Smith

My Rating: 4/5 Star
My Review: Truncated lines reflect the fractured work and lives of the three social workers, and the broken world of their clients. A set cluttered with laundry and hanging newspaper enshroud the women further signifying an eternal Sisyphean connection between the two worlds. Unexpected humour helps to break up the tragic tone of the piece. Wonderful performances by a very talented cast.

Remaining Performances
Lower Ossington Theatre
Saturday August 13th 2:00 PM
Sunday August 14th 4:30 PM

www.summerworks.ca
August 4 - 14th
Various venues
Single Tickets $15
Box Office: 416.504.7529

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love everything about Mr. Marmalade (best use of kindergarten ever), but again with tastes I can see others being offended and hating it. My friend was lukewarm on it - saying it was interesting but ran too long. A valid point as it was rather episodic.