Written and Performed by Jack Fry, Einstein! showcases a different approach in creating a historical secondary source. In this production, Einstein (Jack Fry) comes back from the grave to inform the twenty-first century about his tussles, relationships, and affairs. In particular, the narrative enfolds around Einstein’s struggle to prove his theory of relativity and all of the kinks, both academic and personal, that occur along the way.
Solo performances are utterly hard to pull off, but Jack Fry proves he knows his Einstein trivia all too well. Although funny at first, the humour quickly faded in an attempt to deliver Fry’s passion for knowledge. In a society well aware of Einstein’s success, Fry’s dedication and enthusiasm towards this historical figure proved to be the necessary mode of engagement for the show, making it unnecessary for direct audience involvement.
The video graphics by Walker Schupp and Anthony Denha were stellar, displayed on a downscaled backdrop that perfectly parallels the performance. The lighting design, however, exposed the entire stage, thus creating a space too large for one man. This, unfortunately, assisted in losing the focus of the show. Fry’s attempt at a German accent was carried throughout, however requiring more phonetic work on the dialect in order to properly translate, as the words were often slurred together – merely a recommendation.
The scientific knowledge and evidence behind the concept are integrated at an appropriate level, thereby having the potential to invoke interest on the topic. The larger problem lay within the layout and flow of events that eventually lead to Fry’s exit. The plot became congested with far too many facts, so much so that the story lines crossed over and became unclear.
For those unfamiliar with Einstein’s life, Jack Fry provides audiences with an elongated memoir of Einstein’s triumphs and struggles, in addition to some newly revealed facts. Like every great work, quality over quantity need apply to expand on the new found significant moments that accompany Einstein’s legacy.
Einstein! is part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, running from July 2nd-13th at the St. Vlad’s Theatre. To purchase your tickets in advance, please visit www.torontofringe.com and be sure to visit the show’s website at www.einsteintheplay.com.