Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review: (Toronto) 7 Important Things (SummerWorks)

The Illustrious 60s
by Winna Tse

Oh the 60s. What a decade it was. 7 Important Things explores this illustrious decade, and the ones that follow, through the life of George Acheson, also performer, collaborator and writer. As a teenager in the 60s, he defied the traditional ways of his family, followed the hippie movement and as a result got kicked out of his home by his father. The years that follow prove difficult as he struggles to fight the status quo in an ever growing capitalist society. Written, performed and directed by Nadia Ross and brought to us by STO Union and the National Arts Centre English Theatre co-production association with W.A.C., 7 Important things is an unusual dramaturgy that combines narration, improvised discussions and enactments. 

The improvised discussions are the most unusual and seem somewhat like an excerpt from Ted Talks but are in fact my favourite parts of the play. It provides some comic relief and much needed light hearted discussion from an otherwise intense and heartbreaking story. It's a story about a man that seeks to find himself in a world that is becoming more amoral, individualistic and superficial. Deep at its core, it is also a story about a man trying to reconcile his past with his deceased father, a father whom after all these years, continues to shape the man that he is today. A story as great as this, is somewhat spoiled in a haphazardly strung together production. It's a play that proves be too ambitious for its own good. The style and tone of each scene is so different that it loses the tempo and spirit of the story. On the other hand, it's a play that gets us thinking. It gets us thinking about the type of world we now live in and what exactly we're living for and with whom. Is the world really a better place than before? How can we learn from our past and shape a better future?

7 Important Things is at SummerWorks


  1. Worthwhile if a bit too mournful at times. From the atheistic pov there's a sort of redemption in acceptance of and contentment with your position in this one and only life caught up in Western Capitalism, particularly the hell of marketing. But hey count your blessings dude, ya coulda been placed in the Communist or Third worlds. So it goes with the boomers who through off Christ in the 60's, and have yet to find the maturity and guts to put Him back on.
    Nonetheless, the Godless sadness in this play resonates well with our culture and suits the production. Andrew

  2. I would like to say that the therapist character deserves her own full play.


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