by Lynn on May 22, 2022

in The Passionate Playgoer

Live and in person at Harbourfront Centre, The Brigantine Room, part of JUNIOR, a festival for children 4-14. Until May 23, 2022. Toronto, Ont.

Created by Kitt Johnson

Lighting by Mogens Kjempff

Cast: Sture Ericson

Samuel Gustavsson

Samuel and Ericson are garbage collectors extraordinaire. First Samuel appears outside the Brigantine Room, carrying several black garbage bags and a pole on which is one bag, that falls off. He meets Ericson with his own bags. Samuel frets because he’s lost Accent, a pet. We follow the two men into the Brigantine Room. Children are invited to sit on the colourful covering on the floor, bordering the stage.

By this time Samuel and Ericson have emptied all the bags of stuff and tried to divide the contents into: paper, plastics, metal, electronics, keepers, and other stuff. Kids love to call out what category an item should be put in.

Samuel is active, curious, full of tricks and magic. I loved his sense of wonder. He juggles, plays slight of hand tricks with several cups that hide balls etc. I loved the mess of the garbage, scattering it, collecting it, sweeping it and organizing it. I wish it was that easy at home.  Ericson, on the other hand, is like the ‘grown-up’ of the two. He creates sounds on a console stage right or plays an instrument that could sound like a saxophone.

One trick revealed the true power and talent of these two performers. Samuel does a trick that reveals a cup of marbles. And then he tips the cup and the marbles fall all over the playing space. Then magically, the marbles did what marbles do to children–they become magnets. Each child sitting on the covering, leaned forward, reached out and grabbed some marbles. Samuel looked at Erickson. Ericson looked back. Samuel said to Ericson, “Are they yours?” (meaning the marbles.). Then slowly, each child leaned forward again and returned the marbles to the ‘stage’.

SPOIIIIIIIIING is a wonderful, funny magical romp using stuff we take for granted–garbage. You have to be young enough or old enough to buy into the magic of it, or at least appreciate the skill in doing the tricks, not the least of which is respecting and managing the young audience. Samuel and Ericson are masters at that too. Just terrific.

Harbourfront Centre presents, Kitt Johnson X-Act:

Runs May 21-May 23, 2022.

Running Time: 45 minutes, no intermission

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