Review: (Toronto) Climbing Mount Rumsfeld (Fringe)
A Great View from Climbing Mount Rumsfeld by Lisa McKeown @lisammckeown
“As we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.”
These are the now (in)famous words uttered by Donald Rumsfeld, and taken up by Joe Hamilton as inspiration for his Toronto Fringe show. In fact, this play is closer to a staged reading of a short story: the journey of how Hamilton had written his first SummerWorks play, and what it took to get through it. I have to admit that I found the description of the show in the Fringe programme rather wanting, and was nervous about what to expect when I entered the Solo room at the Tarragon.
The set is stark: a podium holding a computer and a glass of water. But the show was a pleasant and stimulating surprise at the end of a long day. This is a story about a search for knowledge, of ourselves and what we are capable of, and of what it even means to write a story at all. Hamilton's writing is captivating and poetic - this was my third show in a row, and he managed to keep my attention the entire time. His delivery is also excellent, with great intonation and a sharp deadpan delivery that had me cracking up again and again. This show is an unexpected gem - definitely worth checking out.