The Soaps – The Live Improvised Soap Opera (National Theatre of the World) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

What can be said about National Theatre of the World’s Toronto Fringe Fundraising show The Soaps that hasn’t already been said? Great characters + hilariously relatable premise + 8 of the wittiest people working in theatre, film and TV = either Pi or The Soaps. Either way the talent is infinite. This round is set in the theatre town of “Shawford” (sound familiar?) behind the scenes of the latest show which, of course, is fraught with drama, conflict and intrigue. The audience laughed from the first sentence until the lights went down at the Bathurst St Theatre.

Fringe darling Chris Gibbs opened the show in tights. There was an Artful Dodger Actor off. Sandy Jobin-Bevans and Ron Pederson spent four hours trying to outcry each other. Christy Bruce killed all of her 18 husbands. Aurora Browne took cues from her grandmother’s evil ghost. Scott Montgomery mopped his own drool. Paul Bates and Lisa Brooke decided to install screens in place of actors. Albert Howelll spoke completely in double entendre. Jim Annan somehow seemed 70. Matt Baram made only the boys sing (which actually was a shame as those ladies can belt it). Somehow all of these choices seemed real and grounded.

So here is what I don’t get. This is a Fringe fundraising show. So Fringe – when you have a line up outside on a waitlist and rows of empty seats and an unopened balcony – sell those tickets! Scores of people were turned away to drown their sorrows at the beer tent because the volunteers said they were only allowed to sell 215 tickets. I just don’t get it.

So take my advice and book your tickets in advance. I’ll be doing the same. Next week will feature improv legend Colin Mochrie and if the cast is this hot at the top of the Fringe, I can’t even imagine how their week will end.

The Soaps is on at The Bathurst St Theatre, 736 Bathurst St (at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts)

Tue, July 12 5:00 PM
Wed, July 13 7:30 PM
Fri, July 15 7:30 PM
Sat, July 16 4:00 PM
Sun, July 17 Noon


– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only).
– Tickets are available online at, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)
– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows

One thought on “The Soaps – The Live Improvised Soap Opera (National Theatre of the World) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review”

Comments are closed.