Review: pomme is french for apple (Young Centre for the Performing Arts)


Toronto theatre becomes the pum in Pomme is French for Apple

pomme is french for apple is racy, fun and definitely ooh la la for Toronto the Good. Listen up when they warn of “mature content.” Judging by the audience reaction, it wasn’t just me that thought so.

The title is a slipcover for a no-holds-barred exploration of womanhood. The pum (pun on pomme), which is West Indian slang for a woman’s private parts, is the topic of focus.

I haven’t yet seen Vagina Monologues. But from what I remember, these actresses may be going one step beyond. They don’t just talk from the pum, they become it.

Liza Paul and Bahia Watson are recipients of Obsidian Theatre’s 2012 RBC Footprint Award for their contribution to the arts. pomme is french for apple also walked away with a Patrons’ Pick and Best of Fringe at the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival.

Just half a year later, pomme is french for apple is playing in the swank Distillery Historical District where it was originally workshopped. Another great example of a Fringe winner given the opportunity to reach mainstream audiences and play in a fantastic space.

The acting – complete with heavy West Indian accents – is fantastic. While the Jamaican slang sometimes had me a tad lost, it might also be what allows the two actors to do and say things that aren’t usually seen on the Toronto stage.

Part of the production is from the womens’ perspective. The other half has Paul and Watson pulling their pink infinity scarves over their heads and transforming themselves into walking, talking, heart-wrenching pums. Will we ever look at those scarves the same way again?

And what those pums – all pums – must endure! Polyester panties! Tight jeans! The elusive search for a sensitive partner.

Not that the women – and pums – have no pleasure. There’s plenty, and there’s also discussion about what we deserve, what’s right and what’s acceptable. That’s the collective “we” – both women and pums.

My first introduction to this dynamic duo’s theatrical production was last summer as I pulled together my wish list for Toronto Fringe 2012. Their video teaser was unforgettable.

A year later that YouTube video is one in a pomme tv series. Why don’t more theatre companies use video to entice and add to their storylines? This one had me from the get-go. I’m glad I got to see the real thing.



pomme is french for apple is playing at the The Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane) till Mar. 9, 2013
– Performances run March 8 & 9 at 8pm
-Tickets range from $15 – $30
-Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the box office: 416-866-8666.


One thought on “Review: pomme is french for apple (Young Centre for the Performing Arts)”

  1. I caught this at the Fringe last summer, and it was my favourite out of the shows I saw — so glad they’re remounting it, and I definitely recommend catching it if you can! The incredibly light-hearted take on the topic is a breath of fresh air in a genre (feminist theatre) that normally dwells very much on heavy & depressing things like rape and abuse and gender inequalities … topics that are obviously very important, but UGH it gets hard to watch that stuff sometimes! These ladies manage to tackle even those hard topics, though, with grace & a whole lot of funny. Being white-as-a-lily myself I found it hard to follow the jargon at some points, but they include enough hand-gestures to always get their point across clearly, so it doesn’t harm the show at all.

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