Future Folk – Sulong Theatre Collective at Theatre Passe Muraille

By Megan Mooney

future folk

I know this sounds odd, but often I try and read as little as possible about a show before I go.  I like to go without expectations.  Sometimes that means that the beginning of a show is a bit of a shock.  Sulong Theatre Collective’s Future Folk playing at Theatre Passe Muraille was one of those shows.

I was expecting a straight literal opening for some reason, what I got was movement and sound, not dialogue.  For a second I was a bit worried, because, honestly, shows that are abstract movement pieces generally aren’t my favourite.  But this show has a story and dialogue.

The story isn’t particularly revolutionary.  It was what I expected it to be.  The stories of caregivers being taken advantage of, abused and isolated.  And the truth is, generally, I’m not so big on angst.  But, despite that, I really enjoyed the show.

What I hadn’t expected was the beautiful movement and amazing singing and other live sound work.

Even the use of props was beautiful.  And by props, I mean a large sling of fabric each.  It was the only prop used, but it served as many different items, including babies, telephones, sleeping bags, and so on.   The transition from one ‘prop’ to another is beautiful.  It’s like each scene changes was a dance.

Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret…  I’m a crier.  If there is any chance of crying at a show, you can guarantee I’ll be crying.  This was a pretty weepy show for me.  Interestingly, I’m not sure it would have been if I had seen it a year an a half ago.  But, since I had my son things about parent child relationships hit me much harder.  So, the parts that dealt with the years apart from their children basically reduced me to a blubbering mess.

Future Folk is not an easy show, but it’s a beautiful one.

I imagine it would also be satisfying for Filipino care givers to see their story on stage.  Although the story isn’t anything particularly new or revelatory, it must be nice to feel like you have a voice.  It’s a group we don’t hear from much in Toronto.

For me though, the predictable story was just a carrier for the beautiful movement and voice work.

Future Folk is playing until March 13, 2010 at Theatre Passe Muraille Backpace (16 Ryerson Ave)
– Showtimes are Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30, with Saturday matinees at 2:30
– Ticket prices are Tuesday-Thursday $25, Friday & Saturday $30 and Saturday Matinee PWYC (limited number of $15 tickets if booked in advance)  Student, Senior and group rates available, phone to enquire.
– Tickets are available at Arts Box Office 416.504.7529 or online at www.passemuraille.on.ca

Photo of Aura Carcueva, Karen Ancheta and Catherine Hernandez by Alex Filipe