The Home Show (not to be confused with House Show or The Dolls House) asks the very timely question: are we entitled to a Home? Produced by Evolution Theatre with new Artistic Director Laurie Fyffe at the helm, this show has a great cast, asks thought provoking questions, and has an incredible sound design containing zero pre-recorded sound cues (more on this later). The housing crisis here in Canada certainly affects a large portion of the population, young and Indigenous people especially (again, a little more on that later), and so I think this show is worth seeing if only to deconstruct your ideas about houses/housing and your conceptions of ‘Home’.
The piece is constructed through a series of vignettes interwoven with personal stories told by the three performers- William Beddoe, Jacqui du Toit and Norah Paton. We hear about Paton’s experience still living in the house she was legitimately born in; du Toit’s ‘rainbow house’ both during and after the South African apartheid; and Beddoe’s grandparents’ who move into a “temporary” house for 58 years after experiencing a tragic miscarriage. The aforementioned vignettes concern a man (Beddoe) who has a rather unfortunate run in with a panhandler (played by the musician/sound technician Jack Pyl) only to return to his apartment to find it strangely no longer his (I like to think the panhandler cursed Beddoe’s character prompting the strange turn of events). As the play continues we see the man continually manipulated by the Housing industry in his desperate attempt to reclaim a place of his own.
It asks some really profound questions one of which considers how you can call a place like Canada home if it’s not technically your homeland? There is so much awareness surrounding the crisis young (middle class) millennial’s are facing when it comes to owning homes here, but many Canadians choose to ignore the stark reality that there are Indigenous communities currently living without basic fundamental needs (i.e. clean water, accessible food and health care). So, how can we claim entitlement to accessible housing while there are large portions of the Indigenous population living in squalor? Not a question easily answered, obviously, but a great place to start the discussion.
Honestly, my favourite part of this whole show is the sound design. I have to commend director Fyffe for the decision to bring on Pyl and his incredible musical talents. Each sound is composed directly on stage with Pyl playing an impressive number of instruments that are far too many to list and really just need to be heard live. I feel like the ensemble really jives with the musical composition on stage too, allowing the rhythms to punctuate their speech quite naturally. All in all, probably one of my favourite aesthetics so far at this year’s Fringe.
The Home Show (not to be confused with House Show or with The Dolls House) is a solid presentation from Evolution theatre and I would love to see them continue on in this vein. Definitely worth checking out, their next show is on June 13th at 7:30pm.
Presented by Evolution Theatre
Director/Dramaturge: Laurie Fyffe
Musician/Sound: Jack Pyl
Cast: William Beddoe, Jacqui du Toit, and Norah Paton
Venue 5: La Nouvelle Scéne- Studio B