Karin Randoja wants her breakfast! Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh.
Going to see Breakfast, the remount of the Dora-nominated Independant Aunties show currently playing at Buddies, would be a very unusual way to start your day, but we think you might want to give it a try. Okay, so this is a breakfast that is served at 8:00 p.m. (and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays), but maybe you’re not an early riser. Regardless, if you’re looking to see a riveting, bizarre, and utterly unique piece of theatre, you should absolutely give Breakfast a try.
Karin Randoja plays Marnie, a tragic, mousey sort of woman, who we see begin her tragic, mousey daily routine: make some filtered coffee, grab a chocolate pudding from the fridge, stay in your pajamas and robe, because you “never leave the house on Saturdays.” Randoja brings a painful honesty to these early moments, heightened by Julie Fox’s fabulously realistic set (real fridge! and sink! and toilet! and plumbing!). But there’s something different about today. Today, Marnie decides to play a self-help cassette tape she finds on the kitchen table (and whether she bought it at a church rummage sale or it was conjured up by Satan himself is left for the audience to decide). The tape begins with some typical affirmation, positive-thinking-type stuff, but quickly becomes strangely, magically personal. The voice Marnie hears seems to know all about her secret fears and desires, and wants her to “transform” into something entirely new. It’s hard to say much more without giving anything away, but let’s just say the results are fantastic and very unexpected.
Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry hover on either side of the stage, providing the exceptional voice work (with the assistance of voice-altering headset mics), and changing and influencing Marnie’s world in increasingly alarming ways. This is a show in which not only does the rug get pulled out from under you, but so do the floorboards, the foundation, everything. What begins as a humorous satire of self-help culture quickly becomes something far more primal and unsettling. If this all sounds terribly confusing, well, it is. You might find yourself waiting for answers in this show that simply are not going to come. But if you can let go of that concern, and simply allow yourself to tumble down the rabbit hole with Marnie, you’re in for one of the most exciting and different nights of theatre you’re likely to see in this town.
Breakfast continues until April 4.