Fringe Review: Explore Ritual and Privacy in Playshed’s “Limn”

REVIEW FROM OUR SPECIAL COVERAGE OF THE 2017 MONTREAL FRINGE FESTIVAL

(Image courtesy of PlayShed)

How do we act when no one is looking? How is our private persona different from our public one? Aren’t we all always acting? These are some of the questions explored in “Limn”, an unconventional but fascinating piece presented by META-nominated company Playshed, written and directed by Olivier Lamarche – last seen in the highly successful “Angélique” this past season.

“Limn” is a 15-minute look into four people’s lives, an insight into selected actions these individuals perform on a regular basis under the assumption that no one can see them. These four scenes unfold simultaneously. In a hospital, a woman washes an unconscious man’s body. A janitor lays out a prayer rug, and then prays. A man stumbles into his home, sits on the floor at a coffee table and eats takeout. A woman changes out of her pyjamas and into her day clothes.

Aside from the prayer, no words are spoken. The actions are executed in a highly realistic manner, taking the full amount of time they would in real life rather than the simplified and accelerated “stage-friendly” version of such tasks. The actors do a fine job at this display of high realism; as long as we suspend our disbelief in regards to the characters sharing the space, it really seems as though we are watching them live for 15 minutes. The piece is accompanied by an unsettling – even haunting soundscape: several microphones placed on or near the performers pick up on the sounds they generate, sounds that are then played on an loop, overlapping and contributing to the slightly uncomfortable but oddly satisfying feeling that comes with witnessing something you are not “supposed to”.

I personally was most affected by the woman changing her clothes and examining her body in the process. As I witnessed this familiar sight, my brain vaguely conjured up the worry that someone somewhere might have – without my knowledge – seen me do the same.

“Limn” is great for fans of experimental theatre, and because it is so short, it might also be a perfect introduction for those who are used to more traditional plays; if you are feeling adventurous and want to get a short taste of something different and bold, “Limn” is an ideal place to start.

PlayShed has kindly acknowledged that “Limn” is not a traditional show, consisting instead of an ongoing exploration that invites audience feedback in order to develop this aspect of a larger future production. For those privileged to have attended the show, we encourage you to answer their small online questionnaire available at PlayShed LIMN Feedback Form.
Review by Montreal Theatre Hub Fringe Contributor Violette Kay

PlayShed presents “Limn”

When: June 9 – 17, 2017
Where: Mainline Theatre, 3997 St-Laurent
Admission: $7
Duration: 15 minutes
Tickets: www.montrealfringe.ca | 514.849.FEST (3378)


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Violette Kay

2017 Fringe Reviewer at Montreal Theatre Hub
Violette Kay is a playwright and multidisciplinary performer who is very excited to add "reviewer" to the pile of theatre-related hats worn. A semi-recent Acting graduate of John Abbott College’s Professional Theatre Program, her most recent credits are as playwright, composer and violinist for Adoration, which you can catch at the Montreal Fringe Festival right about (checks watch/calendar)… now. She once adapted Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape into a cake, by far her most delicious and least word-heavy "writing" endeavor so far.
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