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Fusion Project Review

March 21, 2013

Storytelling isn’t always about getting from Point A to Point B and then on to Point C. Sometimes it is far less structured and the tale is told through a series of episodes that are related by theme but connected very loosely in terms of traditional linear narrative.

Take, for instance, Fusion Project 2013, a collective creation, directed by Judy Wensel and performed by seven young actors in Globe Theatre’s Templeton Studio Cabaret as part of the Shumiatcher Sandbox Series. Don’tFusion_web misunderstand. It certainly has a plot, if only a thread, and an intriguing one it is. But this poetic, evocative, dreamlike piece is all about imagery and mood and stirring the emotions.

The scene is a coastal community on an island out there somewhere. A body washes up at the dock. At first, it is thought to be a corpse, but no, this dead man (Cameron Chomyn) is very much alive, and so the early vignettes are concerned with nurturing, his warming and feeding at the hands of six women from the village, played by Afrothiti Yannitsos, Erika Sawchyn, Trang Nguyen, Jennifer Fuller, Mattea Columpsi, and Sarah Bergbusch, whose character steals the man’s heart, which he keeps in a small treasure chest.

In the end, the man returns to wherever it was he came from, in a boat given to him by his new friend, but not before he is initiated into this seaside society through a series of adventures that include episodes as contrasting as a trial and a social evening.

The show runs approximately 60 minutes, and its primary focus seems to be love and longing, with side trips to all sorts of other less romantic activities, like the washing of laundry. Arguably, the most charming scene of all is the one where wine bottles are used to symbolize the arrival (and departure) of the mail. There is also much enjoyment in the singing and dancing.

For a land-locked prairie girl, Wensel has an extraordinary fascination with the sea, but she has kept things very close to home by selecting music with a country flavour. The recorded soundtrack comes courtesy of designer Orion Paradis, and features the songs of Chicago-based The Handsome Family and a local band called The Lazy MK’s.

The show has an agreeable pace, it ebbs and flows comfortably like the tide, and with its sentimentality and nostalgia it will send you home in a cheerful frame of mind, because it’s laid-back and it’s mellow. I do hope you’ll go and see it. I know you’d enjoy it.

Fusion Project runs from March 20-23, 2013. Visit the Globe Theatre website for more details, cast information, and to purchase tickets. 

Nick Miliokas is a freelance writer and editor based in Regina. You can reach him by email at rozenstern@rocketmail.com

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