With gravel paths and ivy exterior all in shadows, Factory Mainspace at night is the intimate ideal home for Corrina Hodgson’s Simply Told. By turns both bold and fragile, this father-daughter dialogue explores the nature of truth (or truths) in family dynamics. Tense from the outset, the blunt emotional honesty on display builds until audience members are shifting in discomfort.
Terrence Bryant is Joseph, a father who clings to his imperfect past. Lesley Dowey is Janice, the daughter who has suddenly reappeared after a twelve-year absence for an unfortunate reunion. The script shifts uneasily from conversation to confrontation and back again, Janice and Joseph attempting to bridge the gap between their shared past and the present. It’s all back-story, and both characters have made their share of tough choices. Now Janice has come back from the city to her small hometown, forced to reclaim the son that her father has raised for nearly thirteen years.
It’s almost fitting that Simply Told seems to be flying slightly below the SummerWorks radar. Quiet and unassuming, it doesn’t immediately arrest the viewer’s attention. Instead, father and daughter are given room to unravel their revisionist histories. The result is funny, awkward, traumatic—anything but simple.
Photo courtesy of summerworks.ca.