Review: FINDING HOME: A Salmon Journey Upstream

by Lynn on May 19, 2024

in The Passionate Playgoer

Live and in person at the Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ont. Created by Theatre Direct and Animacy Theatre Collective playing until May 20, 2024.

Created and performed by Alexandra Simpson and Morgan Brie Johnson

Original director, Rebecca Northan

Remount director, Adam Paolozza

Musicians: Stefan Hegerat and Sabine Ndalamba

Puppet design and creation by Alexandra Simpson, Morgan Johnson and Nina Keogh

Wise and uplifting regarding friendship, but playing inside a small venue as opposed to outside when it was first done last year, made this show seem loud and overplayed.

Finding Home: A Salmon Journey Upstream is the story of two best friends, Beagle and Sojo, who happen to be salmon from Lake Ontario. They do everything together (as true best friends do) – until one day Beagle starts to change and gets the urge to set off on an adventure upstream, whether Sojo wants to come or not. It’s tough to swim against the current of the Humber River and the two face all kinds of challenges together: fishermen, pollution, sharp rocks, and rapids. Along the way they learn what it means to ‘reach maturity’, what it means to be a real friend and how beautiful it is to complete your life cycle.

II originally saw this last year outdoors not far from the Humber River where Beagle and Sojo would have had part of their adventure. For the Junior Festival at Harbourfront the show is played indoors at the Studio Theatre. This playing indoors has lost some of the joyousness of the free-wheeling show.

Sojo (Morgan Brie Johnson) and Beagle (Alexandra Simpson) are still energetic, frisky, irreverent and have their own special code of communicating. Their special code involves flapping hands and bumping bums with stuff in between. But too often the microphoned musicians drowned out the microphoned performers and overplaying happens quite often. This is unfortunate.

Theatre Direct presents an Animacy Theatre Collective production:

Plays until May 20, 2024 at 1:00 pm

Running time: 50 minutes.

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