Discord and Din Theatre issues a passport to the abomination of the past in the prodigal return of a 15-year old left to feel ‘ugly, unlovable, unwanted and alone.’ Lela & Co. reminds us that somewhere out in the night the words ‘help me’ are being uttered.
MADNESS AND BRUTALITY
The unspeakable depth of evil that some perpetuate toward others in our global village can make you faint out of fear.
And while truth often makes people uncomfortable, it’s absolutely mandatory that it be shared for the purpose of protecting another from the horrors of the human heart.
The permeations of madness and brutality that surface in Lela & Co. is symbolic of everything wrong in the world that most choose not to educate themselves about in their day to day dealings with First World problems.
Based on a true story of a vulnerable teenage girl ‘as innocent as the day she was born,’ sold, confined, trafficked, beaten, and forever transformed, the Discord and Din Theatre / Seventh Stage Productions offering is dramatically powerful enough to motive passive headline watchers to stand up and become an active participant for social change.
Playwright Cordelia Lynn’s fiery feminist voice is meticulously detailed in this dark, tragic matchmaking from hell monologue. Her structurally sound story path complimented by a remarkable gift for tone modification and wordsmithing in this deeply disturbing personal account cries out for comfort on a war torn landscape where cash for sex suggests freedom is regarded as privilege rather than a human right.
Graham Cuthbertson in his multiple characterizations is notably heroic in transferring the living nightmare of his victim in front of a live audience.
Yet its Jenna Harris’ emotional foundation as the enslaved Lela that gives the production particular spirit of its own. Instead of bleeding the smallest trace of acrimony for the injustice of her surroundings, the actor maintains a surprisingly upbeat vitality throughout.
LELA & CO. by Cordelia Lynn September 22 – October 8, 2017 THE THEATRE CENTRE, 115 Queen Street West, Toronto TICKETS $15.00 – $30.00 www.theatrecentre.org 416.538.0988 CAST Jenna Harris & Graham Cuthbertson DIRECTOR Melissa-Jane Shaw SCENEOGRAPHER Claire Hill LIGHTING Jazz Kamal SOUND Verne Good PRODUCTION MANAGER Pip Bradford