Created by Universal Limited and directed by Joanna Garfinkel, Tour is an innovative concept that combines live music, visual art and theatre. It takes the risk of physically bringing the audience directly to the story in an intimate fashion. A driver transports four spectators to this very specific section of Queen West: a lane-way that separates residential garages from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The mode of transportation? A versatile pedicab equipped with periscopes, View Masters and a basket filled with tiny pieces of the neighbourhood (pebbles, glass, a postcard, etc.). The pedicab driver tells the audience a melange of historical facts and fantastical stories about the area and about herself. Some stories are real and some stories could be real. The conglomeration of these fictional and non-fictional genres has you questioning every door, every crack and every piece of graffiti that you pass along the way. What is the story behind them? How did they get there? These are questions that Tour allows us to probe into.
Tour is definitely a fresh take on live art, but it is still a work in progress. The aesthetic goal was met, but from a theatrical standpoint, I feel that this show lacks something that connects the audience and the story – something that makes them feel or think about things in a way that they have never considered before. By the end of the journey, the pedicab driver was very emotional, but as an audience member, I did not share in these emotions. The stories could be more evocative. They need to dig deeper. The audience should sense the necessity of each story being told.
Designer: Naomi Sider
Performers: Yoshie Bancroft, Daniel Deorksen, Jessica Harvey and Cecile Roslin
Tour is running as part of SummerWorks Festival until August 11th. For more information, visit http://summerworks.ca/2014/portfolio/tour/.