Sunday, March 4, 2018



Fierce by George F. Walker 

February 15 - March 3, 2018
All shows at 8pm
Red Sandcastle Theatre 922 Queen Street East, Toronto 
**PWYC Matinee on Sunday February 25 at 3pm**
4 SHOWS ADDED!! March 7, 8, 9 and 10

"Two women. Both have broken the law. Both are troubled by their pasts. One is a psychiatrist. One is a patient. At least, that's how it all starts out. 75 minutes of edgy comedy. And painful revelations."

Directed by Wes Berger
Starring Marisa Crockett & Emmelia Gordon 
Produced by Kate Walker

Stage Management by Laura Lakatosh

General $25
Artsworkers/Students/Seniors $20
Youth 25 & under $15


George F. Walkers' new play has the potential to be just what the title suggests. Somewhat more manic, expressionistic direction could add to the fierce'ish interaction of two strong, conflicted women on the verge of a kind of a troubled  yet necessary form of emancipation. 

Like a grittier episode of the acclaimed HBO series In Treatment, Fierce is confined by the walls of a psychiatrist's office. The set however resembles a dismal living room of yesteryear furnished with slightly more upscale leather'ish therapy couch and chair  - walls unadorned by the gloomy set dressing of a spare and depressing attic-like room.  A simple grey set with an evocative print above the couch might have enhanced the high energy dialogue that scrambles throughout. Within this squalid prison-like space (the setting seems unclear, in dire need of simple object-character that frames complex human characterizations, the two women become interchangeable versions of varied persona as they move in and out of false narrative that protects the patient and the doctor from the real pain of the real trauma at hand.


Marisa Crockett and Emmelia Gordon effectively play the two women embroiled in a case of classic and cagey transference. Marissa Crockett's calm edgy therapist bounces well off of Emmelia Gordon's frequently frenzied prisoner - both in need of liberation from life narratives ranging from substance abuse to philandering and grave familal heartache. 

Walker's dialogue is crisp and effectively deceptive as it moves over the course of  75 minutes toward a startling and eloquent conclusion. There are tragicomic moments throughout as raw emotion unwittingly strikes the spectator's funny bone. But nothing prepares one for the cleverly constructed poignancy of the final moments. 

Despite a slow somewhat non-fierce beginning and middle that engages a touch too slowly, the sum of all the parts equals a captivating universal catharsis bespeaking what Walker's writing elegantly refers to, with a tinge of perhaps unintentional camp wit, "a journey of sorrow." An elegant denouement and finale predicting a tourists view of European atrocities becomes a surprising and unlikely possibility for these women. Which of course lays the perhaps unintentional intimation of a  sequel for this fiercely compromised duo (a possible coupling of Thelma and Louise proportions) freeing themselves from personal trauma via universal sightseeing.

Sites of historic global horror becomes the landscape for what these characters may choose to stroll among as they administer to the pain of their own personal journeys. Fierce is a calculated and necessary hodgepodge of imagery and emotive chaos in need of fiercer direction in order to succeed entirely. But as it stands it is a brief and starting glimpse into the chaos and the order of lives constantly on the edge of derailment and induced rejuvenation.

February 15 - March 3, 2018
All shows at 8pm

Red Sandcastle Theatre 
922 Queen Street East, Toronto 

4 SHOWS ADDED!! March 7, 8, 9 and 10

No comments:

Post a Comment