Tonight I saw Saor (Free) as part of my Toronto Fringe Festival 2016 experience. This one-woman show examined the often uncertain and awkward nature of, well, functioning as an adult.
This theme was framed by main character Carlyn’s stories about her various travels in Great Britain. We learned that an entire trip’s worth of brightly coloured underpants can embarrassingly be strewn across the luggage conveyor belt to the amusement of hundreds of strangers as the result of a faulty suitcase zipper. Also, if you press a button while in the shower in a hostel in London, what will come out for a whole ten minutes will not be a pleasant-smelling body wash, but a bright blue shower cleanser.
Carlyn describes her life as an “enlightened train wreck” and that she will most likely die alone in a messy apartment with too many cats and countless bottles of cheap wine. Her stories highlight her misfortunes and insecurities and are told with absolute honesty.
However, I couldn’t help wishing for an editor of sorts for this production. A quick history of King Henry the VIII’s love life, and a bit about Carlyn’s maternal instinct – which she imagines has come to life through her two bickering ovaries – are well-written and hilarious, but some of the other jokes seem uncomfortable and tend to go on a little too long.
Despite its uneveness, the show brought forth a very important message in the end: no matter what you do, no matter what your insecurities and blunders in life, do not let fear keep you from having adventures and living life!
- Saor (Free) plays at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace. (30 Bridgman Ave)
- Tickets are $12 at the door and in advance, and can be bought online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Content Warnings: Sexual Content, Mature Language.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
- Thursday June 30th, 07:00 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 02:00 pm
- Monday July 4th, 08:45 pm
- Tuesday July 5th, 02:45 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 11:15 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 06:00 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 12:00 pm
Photo by Brian Grunte.