And, what a wonderful welcome it is. Kismet One to One Hundred is profoundly engaging and is brought to us by Vancouver’s The Chop Theatre. The four creators and performers (Anita Rochon, Emmelia Symington Fedy, Daryl King and Hazel Venzon) have taken one hundred interviews, with people between the ages of one to one hundred, and turned it into 80 minutes where we get to experience what it means to be human. These stories of fate and destiny are woven together seamlessly through the use of audio, video and the clever use of a black grid and one hundred golf-sized white balls.
What I found especially intriguing is that they didn’t just interview one hundred random people but also included family and friends. They used their own personal experience, however painful, to illuminate the impact that this search for belief played in their own lives. So, while the performers do take on the voices of some of the people they interviewed, they basically perform as themselves. It was this open honesty that really made this piece so wonderful. There were no over-characterization of any of the people they interviewed rather the performers acted as a voice through which we heard the thoughts and beliefs of many.
Tying all these stories together were demonstrations of some interesting articles of research about free will and the way our brains work. This is especially true in the scene about free will because that really is the debate isn’t it?! Where does free will end and fate and destiny begin? How much of our life is decided for us and how much do we decide for ourselves?
For every person there is a different answer and this is another reason why this production works so well. The creators of Kismet One to One hundred give voice to everyone’s opinion from those who believe in nothing to those who think we are all at the mercy of fate and destiny. There is no judgement from the performers on the opinions of the people they interviewed just respect. To hear stories being told without an agenda - except to share - is decidedly refreshing.
This is a beautifully simple show and yet extremely layered. If you have a chance, head down to The Cultch to check it out. Kismet One to One Hundred will play all the rest of this week until Saturday April 17th with a 3pm matinee as well as an evening show. Evening performances begin at 7pm. You can get your tickets online or by phone at 604.251.1363.
(Photo courtesy of Ellie O'Day)