Company: Theatre of the Beat, Stouffville, ON
Venue: 3 - The Playhouse Studio
(Reviewed at the Toronto Fringe Festival)
Part philosophical contemplation and part physical comedy, this is a thoroughly enjoyable play.
If you were cooped up in jail and someone offered you a way to escape, you'd take it without thinking twice, right? Or would you?
Such is the question in this play by Theatre of the Beat, a young group of actors that specializes in dramas with a social justice bent.
When a man (Benjamin Wert) enters through the floor of a prison to free an inmate (John Wideman), a thought-provoking dialogue begins between the two that exposes the layers of complexity behind what reality, truth, and freedom actually mean.
Part philosophical contemplation and part physical comedy, this is a thoroughly enjoyable play. Wideman, who also wrote the script, shines as the eccentric inmate who has as many layers to his character as the plot has turns. He creates an endearing character who - despite his eccentricities and seemingly nonsensical processes - comes across as a relatable everyman.
At times, the action is slowed somewhat as the discussion lingers a little too long on the same note. But by the end, you'll likely be asking yourself some of the questions raised by the play - such as "Do you believe what you think, or what you are told is true?"
Wideman is an emerging talent, and this theatre company is one to watch.