Rhiannon Archer’s Life Records, which plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace through July 12th, 2015 as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, is a very funny and heartfelt reflection on the way that our memories are often strongly connected to specific songs and soundtracks. Archer uses a myriad of songs from Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets” to Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now” as a launchpad for sharing well-crafted, humorous vignettes about the memories that they evoke in her, from a drunken fireworks debacle to a non-sexual one night stand adult sleepover and even a friendly letter to her neighbourhood Metro grocery store.
Archer is an incredibly captivating storyteller. She has mastered the arc of building the stories, layering them with self-deprecating humour, sharp, intelligent, wit, and a casual, amiable honesty, that draws her audience in heart to heart. Archer finds the humour in sadness and fear, but also isn’t afraid to show vulnerability and to acknowledge that sadness and fear at the same time.
Director Lara Johnson does a beautiful job of staging the piece in a way that really brings these vignettes to visual life, especially the image of Rhiannon’s mother crying in the windowsill of the kitchen, which is evoked several different times. The scenes come alive to create a very touching and very funny production.
TWISI FRINGE RATING:
Life Records plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue) at the following times:
July 03 at 04:45 PM buy tickets
July 04 at 05:00 PM buy tickets
July 06 at 11:00 PM buy tickets
July 07 at 08:30 PM buy tickets
July 08 at 03:00 PM buy tickets
July 10 at 07:00 PM buy tickets
July 12 at 04:00 PM buy tickets