Sara Porter’s creation L-E-A-K comes with some intriguing publicity. “An absurdist poetic lesbian letter to the ocean” reads the program card. “What if I fell in love with the ocean? What would you wear to the wedding” asks the same card.
The production is based in or around Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy and we are given some information about the bay and about the universe going back several billion years. It is not particularly clear, especially when it is spoken through a microphone. But “absurdist poetic lesbian letter to the ocean” stretches the imagination. It no doubt exists in the mind and imagination of Porter but I am not sure how much of it is effectively communicated to the audience. As to the perhaps,
rhetorical question of falling in love with the ocean and asking us what we would wear to the wedding, it is an absurdist notion that you would have to stretch your imagination to find an answer based on the caption in the program only.
Costume does play an important part in the creation and the two dancers, Sara Porter and Jessie Garon, don several outfits during the performance. They range from dancing with seagulls on their heads to what looked like bridal dresses to beach clothing.
A significant part of the show is taken by dancing and poetry and prose are not as abundant or comprehensible as one may have expected. The poetry may be much better if read but on a single hearing with no particular emphasis, most of it did not reach me.
The show plays in the small Franco Boni Theatre in The Theatre Centre produced with considerable assets. Porter is the main force behind it. In addition to being the Choreographer and one of the performers, she collaborated in or contributed to the video design, the costume design and the Gallery Exhibit Photography.
The Video Designers were Linnea Swann and Jeremy Minmagh that showed some amazing images of the sky and the ocean with seagulls on the shore projected on a huge screen in the background.
The sound designer is Jeremy Minmagh, after Phil Strong and the complex lighting is credited to Rebecca Picherack. Sara Torrie is the creator of the seagull dress.
I mention all the artistic group to impress the fact that this is not a show that was slapped together willy-nilly. There is some excellent comedy, especially the scene where Porter describes labour pain on the beach. Unfortunately, the play that is “inspired by the ecosexual notions of falling in love with the earth” did not resonate with me. I would have liked to have seen it more than once with better audio of the poetry.
I think there was an explanation of what the acronym L-E-A-K stands for, it was not very clear or I simply did not get it.
For the rest, you will have to see it and decide for yourself.
L-E-A-K, created by Sara Porter with creative collaborator Katherine Duncanson, in a production by Sara Porter Productions, runs until May 21, 2023, in the Franco Boni Theatre at The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. West, Toronto, Ontario. www.theatrecentre.org, www.saraporter.ca