Becoming a theatre artist in Toronto can be a difficult road.
You need to have the dedication and patience required to create good theatre, and you need an audience for your work to be seen.
The emerging Toronto theatre collective known as Filament Incubator, is on the right track.
Today the company concludes their first of eight productions to be coming out within eight months. The first piece of this project Bill, a one-man monodrama, involves a man who is losing his wife to the didgeridoo.
Bill, written and directed by Daniel Bagg, follows the titular character through his internal struggles with his wife. We see how she is slowly and surely changing his life from the repetitive “shit-filled” days that he’s been used to for the past 15 years to something new, different and unpredictable. Though Bill doesn’t see the value of what his wife is doing at first, he slowly realizes that sometimes change can be a good thing.
The production itself is minimalistic, with the biggest emphasis placed on the performance of Bill (played by actor Brendan O'Reilly), and how the world he used to know is slowly becoming undone. At roughly an hour long, Bill does a fantastic job at getting its point across, without becoming too repetitive. The combination of Bagg’s writing and O’Reilly’s performance created a moving and insightful piece.
The concept of the story, while not entirely original (though this is the first time I’ve ever seen it involve didgeridoos), is captivating. The character feels honest and real, though I do find the show is aimed at connecting with a male audience, as I felt myself resonating with a lot of Bill’s thoughts regarding his changing life.
Usually, sitting and hearing a man complain about his life for an hour straight can be very draining, yet the humour infused into the piece keeps the performance refreshing and engaging for its entirety.
Bill is playing at The Box Toronto until May 1. If you missed Bill, and feel that you want to fit some great emerging artists’ performances into your busy schedules, Lemon by Andrew Markowiak is next on Filament Incubator’s agenda, and will be performed at Majlis Art Garden from May 25 to June 5, closely followed by Aaron Jan’s Rowing at The Toronto Fringe Festival.