Intrepid Theatre‘s Fringe Theatre Festival never fails to deliver an absolutely unique show. Sometimes, it’s a challenge to understand because it’s a product that doesn’t have mainstream appeal. When the play is about the Ouroboros, I had to see Hollow Hound Art Collective‘s show named after the mystical snake that eats its own tail. It is being performed at Theatre SKAM‘s satellite studio on 849 Fort St and it’s an imtimate space for such a confidential-type show.
The playbill simply describes the show as:
For centuries, weary wanderers have visited the ‘Shrine of the Ouroboros’ to trade their stories for a new beginning. The Ouroboros must now recall which memories are their own and which were told to them by others. What tale would you tell the Ouroboros?
In what I saw are four young performers revealing a story within a story. We’re introduced to a strange analogue world of old 90s audiovisual equipment stacked on top of each other to produce a decrepit library of sorts. I couldn’t help but wonder what is on the magnetic tape that’s strewn about. Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell trade off as the host and they talk about an analogue world and memories captured to tape like in Strawberry Manion.
I think these two performers are the same individual. What we witness are tales from those who have visited this ancient repository and poured their souls away to this unknown host who can easily belong in the next reboot of a YA version of The Twilight Zone.
Instead of going to a bar to spill your sorrows away, here, the librarian is your counsellor. But when this individual is composed of two minds, perhaps representing the masculine and feminine, just who is more sympathetic depends. Not every man or woman–played by Andrew Shepherd and Lynnéa Chan–knows a kind soul to tell their life story to.
By the end, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how an episode of Fantasy Island often ends with some repartee from Mr. Roarke. In this play, Bain and Bidwell truly play up everything that this figure is. This host is very mysterious from beginning to end, and I couldn’t help but notice the use of sound to distinguish between the various narratives taking place. It’s not the tritone, but the radiant dissonance suggests a darker element. This work is one I’d want to ask playwrights Logan Swain and Conor Farrell about. I’m sure there’s other constructs they wanted to examine, and after watching 3000 Years of Longing, it’s in a crazy way a perfect followup to me wanting to know the difference in what a narratologist and mythologian studies
But on its own merit, it’s a piece worth investigating for those into mystery theatre.
Remaining Ouroboros Shows
- Sep 02 7:30 pm with ASL Interpretation
- Sep 03 4:15 pm
- Sep 04 6:45 pm
LOCATION: Theatre SKAM Satellite Location (849 Fort St)
About Hollow Hound Arts Collective
Hollow Hound Arts is a group of like-minded artists united by a strong belief in the power of stories. Founded by artistic collaborators Logan Swain and Conor Farrell, Hollow Hound strives to become a resource sharing home-base for early career artists to create new work. Drawing on environmental storytelling, immersive design, devising and applied theatre techniques, Hollow Hound Arts blurs the lines between artistic disciplines while pushing the boundaries of traditional theatre making.