Temple of Khaos (Daniel Nimmo) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

I love everything I see at Tarragon, and Temple of Khaos (Daniel Nimmo), was no exception. The only problem I have with this venue is getting there. Conveniently located next to nothing in particular, I find myself sprinting to get there with minutes to spare before showtime more often than I care to admit (there is apparently something going on with parking lots so if you are driving you should be extra careful with scheduling).

Temple of Khaos is a fake historical story about the son of the God Khaos. Featuring four quirky, sometimes overzealous and definitely loveable storytellers, this show was advertised as a combination of Monty Python, Game of Thrones and Moulin Rouge. I would add that it also carried a hint of drunken history at times (YouTube it) and definitely elements of  A Really Bad Play.

Four clowns from the future read us the history of the end of the world out loud from a tiny black book, while castmates act out what is being told. What results is a purposefully messy rendition, with several distractions, hesitations and interruptions often corrected with loudly whispered instructions.

One of the most brilliant parts of this performance was its simplicity. The cast was dressed in linen tunics and tights the entire performance and communicated changes of character using accessories or a wide variety of low-tech yet creative props.

At the end of the day, what really makes a great story whether in book, stage, or film form, is the depth of character development. The cast members slipped in and out the various characters of this epic tale with remarkable ease and surprising authenticity. In the bat of an eye they could go from alluring to vulgar, sassy to submissive, or ferocious to sweet. It’s almost like watching really well done improv – but even better.

Although the tale wasn’t primarily about the quirky, sometimes-overzealous clowns, they truly made the show what it was. They were awkward and sometimes went a tad overboard in their renditions (often to the annoyance of their castmates). They giggled at inappropriate moments, spoke out of turn, and were unbashed in their energy and enthusiasm. In all, they were very loveable.

Based on the reports of rave reviews that accompanied the plot synopsis  – I already had high expectations going in. This can be a disadvantage when you’re reviewing something for the first time. Yet, in spite of this, Temple of Khaos was a lot of fun and far surpassed my already high expectations, and that, says a lot.

–  Temple of Khaos plays at Venue 1 – Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman
– Show times: July 06 05:15 PM, July 07 07:30 PM, July 9 09:00 PM, July 12 08:45 PM, July 13 03:30pm, July 14 05:15 PM, July 15 01:45 PM
– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $9 + $2 service charge)
– Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows