No Time For Dreams (barking birds theatre) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

No Time For Dreams is inspired by the writings of family, friends and strangers exploring characters on their pursuit of happiness. It begins with a strange salesman coming into town who tries to help four individuals with fulfilling their desires.

There are two couples, each with their problems. One couple can’t seem to make things work, while the other can’t seem to get their relationship started.

As much as I found the play intriguing, the narrative seemed a tad confusing. One dream sequence felt unclear in its message, and I was not entirely sure what the outcome of the couples were in the end. I desired a more concrete ending. This play was not completely for me, but the script is promising and I am quite sure people with different preferences than me would truly love it.

I would classify this play as a romantic fantasy-drama. It seems to focus mainly of the desires of the characters, and the salesman feels like a illusion for these couples. There is not much humour in it.

I liked the Salesman (Ben Muir), because his character reminded me of Norman in “A River Runs Through It.” Lucio (Giacomo Gianniotti) looks just like Heath Ledger and has great acting chemistry with Gwen (Tanya Rintoul). June (Elsbeth McCall) has a lovely singing voice and her intensity in the dream scene was haunting. And Ed (Philip James Psutka) created and performed beautiful violin pieces.

The scenes play out much like a movie, which I enjoyed. The live violin playing, the singing and the acting are all interesting. But perhaps this play was too abstract for me. They felt like leaves slowly circling around in the sky. I wanted to know much more about the things they did reveal. As a whole, No Time For Dreams felt much like a scene of the character Gwen smoking – lingering, hazy, and mysterious – then gone.


No Time For Dreams is playing at Venue 13 Factory Studio Theatre

barking birds theatre
Director: Elsbeth McCall and Tanya Rintoul
Cast: Ben Muir, Giacomo Gianniotti, Elsbeth McCall, Phillip James Psutka, and Tanya Rintoul
Genre: Play, Physical Theatre
Warning: Smoking, Mature Language

55 min.

Thu, July 7 7:00 PM 1304
Sun, July 10 4:00 PM 1322
Tue, July 12 5:00 PM 1335
Wed, July 13 11:30 PM 1345
Thu, July 14 2:30 PM 1347
Fri, July 15 9:30 PM 1358
Sat, July 16 Noon 1360

Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only.
– Latecomers will not be permitted.
– Tickets are also available online at, by phone at 416-966-1062 or in person at The Fringe Tent (behind Honest Ed’s). Advance tickets are $11 – $10 + $1 convenience fee.
Money saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.

2 thoughts on “No Time For Dreams (barking birds theatre) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review”

  1. Wow, really?
    I saw “No Time For Dreams” last week, and I gotta tell ya, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found all 5 characters engaging in their own personal way. I found myself rapt in the innocent beginnings of one relationship, and the heartbreaking conclusion of another. Metaphors abound, haunting vocals and instrumentals, and a cast that exudes everything I expect from Fringe made “NTFD” a hit for me. I’ll be seeing it again.

    Oh! And one small thing about this review: Ed is the violinist, and Lucio is the blue-collar worker who “looks like Heath Ledger”. A tiny mistake in a huge review of a great festival. No biggie…but it’s made me start thinking about the cast again…. here I come, box office!

  2. Thanks for your comment – I made the correction. Yes, I had trouble making my mind up about this show. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, but I felt some areas were vague. Saying that, the fact that this play made me think and leave me with more questions is probably something positive about the play.

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