Travel Theatrics is a show about finding oneself in the unknown spaces of a big, scary world. This autobiographical piece is full of characters lovingly rendered by the theatrical portraiture of Keara Barnes—locals, fellow-travelers, family. Every portrait is unique and fully inhabited, so there is never any question which one we are seeing.
From childhood vacations to the first lone sojourn into Malaysia, Keara brings scenes and images of her past to life in a style that is warm, intimate, and full of humour. The script is lively and poetic, although viewers may be conflicted as to whether the internally rhyming style adds to the vividness of scenes or distracts from it.
Keara’s performance is as much physical as it is vocal. She really manages to occupy the whole stage. I was especially impressed by her portrayals of two children in the first story: herself and a friend met vacationing in England. One often struggles to remember what one was like as a child, but Keara doesn’t seem to have this problem, inhabiting her past self with that uncritical, unselfconscious air that is wonderfully typical of children.
Travel Theatrics by Standing Room Only Theatre is playing at Havana Theatre 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Mattias Martens
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