There’s a lot happening in Love and Information, produced by the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Featuring a talented ensemble cast, this play is structured as a series of unconnected short scenes. There’s much to enjoy in this well-acted, polished production — as long as you’re not looking for a linear narrative.
The scenes in Love and Information range widely in their topics: two young women talk about their crush, a teacher gives a lesson on irrational numbers, a depressed young man collapses under the weight of his friends’ cheerful suggestions, and so on. There are a great number of scenes in this play; some feel only a few seconds long.
I know from reading the program that playwright Caryl Churchill permits the sections of the play to be performed in any order, and I can see why this unusual structure works. None of the scenes offer any kind of closure, creating what I can only describe as a play made up of the ‘middles’ of stories.
Personally, I enjoyed the unusual structure of Love and Information. There’s usually a lot happening at once — for example, as a pair of performers exchange dialogue in the centre of the stage, others hurry through the space on their way to unknown errands. Nothing holds our attention for long, which I take to be a comment on the impact of technology on human connection.
The seventeen cast members are all excellent. I was especially impressed by their musical performances. I also enjoyed seeing so many queer relationships portrayed onstage. At the same time, with so many performers, it would have been nice if the racial makeup of the cast had more closely reflected the diversity of Toronto.
Overall, I thought Love and Information was enjoyable and well-performed. There’s surely something for everyone amid these snapshots of human lives.
- Love and Information plays at the Annex Theatre (736 Bathurst St.)
- Tickets are $12. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Scadding Court, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route which requires a staff escort. Check in at the box office at least 20 minutes prior to showtime.
- Friday July 7th, 06:30 pm
- Saturday July 8th, 11:00 pm
- Sunday July 9th, 04:00 pm
- Tuesday July 11th, 07:30 pm
- Wednesday July 12th, 01:45 pm
- Friday July 14th, 03:30 pm
- Saturday July 15th, 09:15 pm
Photo of the cast of “Love and Information” by Naomi Klein