Was it not 80’s popstar Howard Jones who once asked ‘What is love anyway?’ with Stars’ vocalist Torquil Campbell responding more recently with the instruction to ‘Hold on when you get love…and let go when you give it’?
And smack dab between them throughout the years are myriads more avowals concerning the myths, mysteries, and truths about the adulation that binds us all.
40 Days And 40 Nights is not a ‘boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl’ or ‘man-tries-to figure-out-what-went wrong’ jaunt.
In fact, just the opposite. This strange and beautiful experimental theatre undertaking takes it up an intimate notch for a thematic exploration where love is not just only the poetic subject; it’s an ambient ceremony to which spiritual reverberations are felt by all those in attendance.
On the surface, Daniel Brooks and Kim Collier play with the notion that love is merely a commitment to an idea before re-positioning it as an occurrence of ‘duration’ that includes declaration, affirmation, chance and destiny before an eternity of the present abolishes self-identity replacing “I” for “we.”
These ponderous proposals might sound intellectually weighty but the performance duo expeditiously leaves their suppositions on a welcome mat and swiftly transition into some powerfully engaging and interactive entertainment terrain.
One of the more captivating moments is when water from a hot kettle is poured over an ice block while a lover calls out to her partner from the bathroom almost subtly suggesting the fading of emotion over time.
And when a tea light survey prompts the audience to confirm its own belief system, you’ll be surprisingly amused by the thoughts of others sitting a short distance away.
As our city continues its healing process this week, 40 Days And 40 Nights is perhaps the single most cathartic exercise to turn our attention back to what really matters.
Love meaningfully, love unconditionally and most importantly just never stop loving.
40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS created by Daniel Brooks and Kim Collier THE THEATRE CENTRE, 1115 Queen Street West, Toronto TICKETS $22.50 www.theatrecentre.org 416-538-0988 CAST Daniel Brooks and Kim Collier DIRECTOR AND DRAMATURG Jennifer Tarver COMPOSITION AND SOUND DESIGN Andrew Creeggan and Debashis Sinha SCENOGRAPHER Ken Mackenzie ASSISTANT SET & COSTUME DESIGNER Lindsay Dagger Junkin ASSOCIATE LIGHTING DESIGNER Jennifer Lennon STAGE MANAGER Michelle Galuszka CREATIVE ASSISTANT Lucy McNulty