Out At Sea (Actors Repertory Company) 2011 SummerWorks Review

Three men are stuck on a raft in the middle of the ocean. They are out of provisions and are considering cannibalism. But how will they decide which one of them will be eaten? Because they are humans and not animals, issues of such importance must go through a fair and transparent process…  through the microcosm of the raft, Out At Sea is Theatre of the Absurd which shows just how unfair and untransparent our social systems can be. The processes of democracy and justice are played out in a fashion that show their inherent weaknesses – the way they can be manipulated by those who are more selfish, and more avaricious and controlling than others.

I thought this was a contemporary play with dialogue written in more formal speech in order to further mock the veneer of sophistication that covers the corruption of social systems, but the program, which I read after the show, revealed that it is actually a translation, originally written in early 1960’s Communist Poland. It is truly frightening how relevant the show still is.

It is also hilarious. Of course, if you find the thought of cannibalism-themed humour distasteful, this may not be the show for you. For those of us with a darker sense of humour the play hits all the right notes. As one might expect from a company called Actors Repertory Company, the performers are uniformly strong and have a great dynamic. The direction is superb, from the innovative use of the stage’s space to the perfectly comedically timed introduction of a series of ridiculous props.

Out At Sea will make you laugh and it will make you think. Highly recommended.


Out At Sea is playing at Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto

-Showtimes are:

Friday August 5th 5:00 PM
Sunday August 7th  2:30 PM
Monday August 8th 10:00 PM
Wednesday August 10th  10:00 PM
Friday August 12th  5:00 PM
Sunday August 14th 7:30 PM

– All individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.artsboxoffice.ca, by phone at 416.504.7529, in person at the Arts Box Office (located at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., One block North East of Bathurst & Queen W. M-F 12PM-7PM, Weekends 10AM-8PM) (Advance tickets are $15 +HST and $1 service fee)

– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows

2 thoughts on “Out At Sea (Actors Repertory Company) 2011 SummerWorks Review”

  1. … maybe worth noting, because, as the article above mentions the cast is strong and dynamic, is that the cast includes andre sills. mr. sills recently appeared in the wildly successful “kim’s convenience” at the 2011 toronto fringe, for which he was widely praised (including in a review that appears on this website, originally published on july 11th) …

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