Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Theatre Review: Tom at the Farm

By Shari Archinoff

One of the things that I love about living in Toronto is the diverse theatre scene. Not only do we get to enjoy all the splashy musicals, but we’re also privilege to a variety of more independent theatrical experiences.

I recently attended the opening night performance of Tom at the Farm at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, a not-for-profit professional company located near Yonge and Wellesley. As the largest and longest-running queer theatre in the world, the mission of Buddies in Bad Times is to give a voice to people whose stories too often go unheard and to create a safe space for everyone to enjoy those stories through the medium of live performance.

The small theatre space provides an extremely intimate viewing experience that allowed the four-person cast to shine - every nuance of their fearless performances could be appreciated. Written by Canadian playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, Tom at the Farm tells the story of a young city boy who is faced with the sudden death of his boyfriend. He travels to the country to attend the funeral where he meets his boyfriend’s family – a mother who refuses to see the truth and a brother who will do anything to hide it.

During it’s hour and forty-five minute running time, Tom at the Farm covers many themes – love, death, family, homophobia, acceptance, lies, truth and what it means to truly lose yourself. The story is told through a mix of traditional dialogue and Tom’s internal monologue, allowing us as the audience to experience the journey along with him. The mood slides effortlessly from humour to heartbreak and back again as we follow Tom’s descent from grief into something much darker. It’s the type of story that stays with you long after the final curtain call.

Tom at the Farm is running until May 10 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. To purchase tickets or to find out more information about the show or the theatre, please visit their website.

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