14 Scattered Islands (Tina Nanaki Fance) 2016 SummerWorks Review

14 Scattered Islands by Tina Nanaki Fance, playing as part of SummerWorks 2016, is a solo reflection on home, belonging, and the invisible vibrations of the universe. It’s a quiet piece, but I’m still thinking about it.

In 1993, Fance moved from a small village in Lincolnshire, UK to Toronto with her mother and sisters after her parents’ divorce. Twenty years later, she moved back to the London. In 2015, she decided to walk from London to her childhood home. The journey took her 180 miles in 10 days.

In 14 Scattered Islands, Fance tells the story of that walk. She describes each day, while showing slides and playing sound recordings from the trip. But this is not your elderly neighbor’s boring slide show of her trip to Florida. Fance interweaves the details of her travels with meditations on what it means to belong and what it means to go home.

She does most of this while wearing a bulky deep-sea diver suit, complete with a helmet made from a disco ball. The suit is a metaphor for the sense of drowning that Fance sometimes feels in the face of painful memories. I thought it was surprisingly beautiful despite the awkwardness.

I found Fance to be engaging and thoughtful about her experiences and about the challenge of finding a place where you really feel comfortable. I have not lived in my home town since I graduated high school, and her sense of rootlessness resonated with me.

Fance switches back and forth between a conversational tone and a more theatrical delivery.  At times it felt like she was having a chat with a friend over coffee, exchanging funny stories and recounting interesting things she’d heard on the radio. Sometimes, she was sharing her deepest fears and secrets.

I enjoyed what she had to say, but felt like the conversation was just getting started. 14 Scattered Islands left me wanting to hear more from Tina Nanaki Fance.


14 Scattered Islands plays at The Theatre Centre BMO Incubator (1115 Queen Street West)


  • Wednesday, August 10, 8:15pm – 9:15pm
  • Friday, August 12, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Saturday, August 13, 10:00pm – 11:00pm

Individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Youth Series tickets are $10, Live Art Series ticket prices vary. Tickets are available online at http://summerworks.ca, by phone at 416-320-5779 and in person at the SummerWorks Central Box Office at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St). Open August 2-14 from 10am-7pm. Cash and credit accepted.

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

Image provided by SummerWorks.