The King’s Infringement Festival kicked off Monday with the traditional Tour Night. Pacing was smooth as audiences were led through eight student-written plays spaced throughout the New Academic Building, A&A and Alex Hall.
Our group began with Michal Stein’s Love Knives, co-directed by Dylan Tate-Howarth, in the Manning room. A fun play brimming with jokes about King’s and Halifax culture, right down to the über-pretentious guy who still manages to sleep with everyone, the show boasted colourful characters—particularly those played by Tamar Wolofsky. Despite a too-long walking scene and some Toronto in-jokes that flew right over this critic’s head, the show was built for a King’s audience and was a definite crowd-pleaser.
We crossed the cold quad to see No String Attached, Amy Hurley’s could-be radio play set in a bookstore bathroom. Entirely about tampons, it explored every musing women have ever had about them and all the thoughts men didn’t know there were to know. Hurley’s play was hilarious and to the point, and delivered flawlessly by Hurley and her co-star Hannah Martin.
Up to the Wardroom, where Amanda Shore and Eric Cunningham delivered Alex Bryant’s philosophical play Figures of Speech. Though the script was hard to follow, with somewhat vague lines and the actors competing with the thumping music from the bar, it was conversational. Every word, even when it got lost, seemed spontaneous.
Back over to the Wilson common room, where the tea was sweet and warm, and the audience invited to sit among the actors. The idea of Caroline Mercer’s Overheard was a snapshot of the fragments you might overhear at a coffee shop. If the play had a meaning or an intended story it was lost on me, but the words were delivered well.
On the NAB’s third floor, our group gathered around the elevator for Sarah Toye’s A Thoughtful Play. We commiserated with three antisocial people trapped in an elevator, each thinking about why he or she desperately wanted to get out. With little variation between the characterization, at times it felt like all three were part of one consciousness. However, the play was well done, with each actor matching their body language with their thoughts as they were voiced.
Heading to the second floor landing of the A&A, Rebecca Wolfe’s Seal the Deal explored the rumour mill and peer pressure around sex. The play was disorganized, but the actors were committed and you could tell everyone involved was having fun.
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Back across the now even colder quad to Patrick Gravel’s Roommates, featuring Haydn Watters and Tom Lute. Gravel handled the roommate relationship well, right down to the awkward silences and the parallels between roomies and boyfriends. The script was delivered very naturally, as though it was either written for the actors, improvised, or a bit of both.
And finally to Plato’s Glaucon by B.W.D. Heystee—Socrates and Glaucon’s musings on hot dogs (and other pork products). Though the actors were reading their scripts, the words on the page were clever. And how can you go wrong in a show where someone booms out the word “FOOTNOTE” when the lighting shifts?
Tour Night was a good opening for a week of student theatre at King’s.