RAGE AGAINST The Inferno (Jerusalem), a Toronto Fringe Festival show put on by Sketch Platform Productions–currently playing at the Robert Gill Theatre–is an unsettling play.
The audience is taken into a complex realm of dreams and nightmares, where reality blurs and questions of morality take on an importance impossible to handle, to a place where certainty is impossible. The haunting intensity of RAGE AGAINST The Inferno (Jerusalem) makes this show worthy of attention.
RAGE AGAINST The Inferno (Jerusalem) opens with the sight of Polly (Kayla Jo Farris) in mad passionate love with Izzy (Brittany Cope). We soon see that Izzy also loves Juliet (Athena Kaitlin Trinh), and the three live together in Toronto in a time when the question of what to do–what is a good thing to do, what is the right thing to do–is unclear. Izzy, linchpin of her family, is beset by frightening dreams, visions of happenings at once terrifying and confusing demanding her attention. Her lovers, and their audience, are forced to share in these.
The sheer density of philosophical contemplation in RAGE AGAINST The Inferno (Jerusalem) is a product of the imagination of playwright/creator Rouhan Silovix. The question of what it means to lead a good life, or to live rightly, in a world that is full of tragedies great and small anchors this show. If, at times, the dialogue of characters tends too strongly towards the monologue, this is defensible in what is a play of ideas. This is a play that, in its richness, easily supports extended study.
The high energy of the performances given by the cast of RAGE AGAINST The Inferno (Jerusalem) was remarkable. Each of the three primary actors proved themselves triple threats in the course of the show, at times making the entire theatre their arena as they moved with vigour and sang with heart. Brittany Cope’s Izzy was the character I could relate the most closely to, her performance supporting the closest thing to a classical protagonist that this show had. But the passion of Trinh’s Juliet and the diversity of Farris’ performances were also compelling. Of special note are the roles played by Ivana Popovic, occasional violinist and frequent shadowy figure on stage. It was a pleasure to see these people perform.
RAGE AGAINST The Inferno (Jerusalem) is a challenging play, in the arguments that it offers and the presentation it provides, but the challenge it provides merits an audience. The originality with which questions are posed and gestures, at least, made towards answers makes this one of the most interesting plays at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival.
- RAGE AGAINST The Complacent (Jerusalem) is playing until July 14 at the Robert Gill Theatre. (3rd floor, 214 College Street)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts 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 advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.
- July 6th at 9:45 pm
- July 8th at 5:15 pm
- July 9th at 10:30 pm
- July 10th at 2:45 pm
- July 12th at 7:30 pm
- July 13th at 4:00 pm
- July 14th at 3:30 pm
Image provided by the company.