Director Peter Pasyk jabs audiences with realism right where it counts in the Tarragon Theatre Presentation of The Circle on stage until November 27.
The play is inspired by many of Brown’s real life experiences and brings audiences a multifaceted view of life; friendship, family, morality and the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Written as his final work while at the National Theatre School, Brown drew on many stories from his life and the lives of those he grew up with. Ultimately, The Circle is about love, understanding and forgiveness – and doesn’t hesitate to reflect the grit of real life to get there.
If there was ever such a thing as a ‘garage play,’ a performance extension of the ‘garage band’—which is best defined as a group of artists that just go for it regardless if it compete with the great works of the day—Geoffrey Simon Brown’s The Circle might just be a genre first.
Not only does it take place under a roofed carport but it takes the concept of lost youth to new heights in a tragic drama that resonates with 50 shades of The Breakfast Club and everything that followed.
Teen restlessness throbs in this 90 minute offering well aligned to the values and struggles of teen subculture. It’s gritty, uncomfortable and anti-glamourous in its quest for community and belonging.
Ily (Jakob Ehman) is cozy in the confines in the low end living space of girlfriend Amanda’s (Vivien Endicott-Douglas) mom’s mortgage free property. What more does a Grade 12er need than a place to lay down, a fridge to chill his beer, and a flat surface to set his bong upon?
Will (Daniell Ellis) and romance interest Dan (Jake Vanderham) pose no threat to the couple’s festive weekend freedom but estranged school chum from yesteryear, Mutt (Brian Solomon), announces a visit for a belated hello with gal pal Kit (Nikki Duval) and the mood begins to shift.
Awkward moments ensue and old friendship is put to the test with disastrous results.
The Circle is theatrically light in its dim portrait of young lives lacking dreams, ambition and future. Not only is it a platform for up and coming artists to strut their stuff, it champions stage diversity in its harrowing telling of a phone call best left unanswered.
THE CIRCLE by Geoffrey Simon Brown October 18 – November 27, 2016 TARRAGON THEATRE, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto TICKETS $28.00 – $65.00 www.tarragontheatre.com, or 416-531-1827 CAST Vivien Endicott-Douglas, Jakob Ehman, Nikki Duval, Brian Solomon, Jake Venderham, and Daniel Ellis DIRECTOR Peter Pasyk SET Patrick Lavender LIGHTING Rebecca Picherack SOUND Thomas Ryder Payne COSTUMES Joanna Yu FIGHT DIRECTOR Steve Wilsher STAGE MANAGER Sandy Plunkett APPRENTICE STAGE MANAGER Victoria Wang