Fringe Toronto 2018-- Thousand Beginnings


Thousand Beginnings

Creator/Director: Margaret Muriel Legere

Performers/Creators: Jewels Krauss, Gulce Oral


Fringe Toronto 2018

St. Vladimir Institute

July 5-15 2018

Reviewed by Ted Fox


This is the first production from Under the Umbrella and is a very impressive debut. Thousand Beginnings is surrealistic physical theatre that is both emotional and humorous.

Begins with Jewels Krauss and Gulce Oral coming out, each holding a roll of paper towels. Playfully they hurl them into the air until the stage is covered. They shred them and roll around in them, emitting laughter as they do so.

Result is a set that looks like a wasteland. Half-buried, the women appear like survivors. In this case they are the victims of inheriting their parents' and grandparents' modes of behavour. They question how they can break out of them. How they can become aware of who they really are and lead fulfilled lives.

The words they speak are at times poetic. They question how exhaling impacts the clouds, how many breaths are in the air, whether the salt in their tears is the same as in the oceans.

They recite the sayings of their childhood, like stepping on a crack and breaking your mother's back.

Their bodies speak volumes in their movement. As do the cadences and the pauses in their vocalizations. Shades of emotion move across their faces.

The lighting is very effective in the way it reflects the wasteland of their lives. The paper towels, when lifted over their bodies, change their appearance into that of furry tentacled creatures.

Ends with one sitting relaxed in pensive thought. The other proceeds to pick up the towels, becoming more and more weighted down as she does so.

Beautifully acted and performed by the creator/performers. Movement skillfully created/directed by Margaret Legere.