R Review of Bad New Days: Italian Mime Suicide//Three Red Days

Italian Mime Suicide// Three Red Days Theatre CompanyThe thing about theatre in Toronto is there is no middle ground: it’s either amazing or you walk out.

So, this past Thanksgiving Sunday I, optimistically, took myself to Bad New DaysPay What You Want production, Italian Mime Suicide//Three Red Days at the Theatre Centre.

I was feeling kind of down and wanted some art therapy. I knew nobody in the entire production and I didn’t really do too much research other than read the first line of the event synopsis:

ROME: an Italian mime jumps off a building claiming no one appreciates his art. MOSCOW: in his cramped apartment composer Shostakovich & his wife live through the grotesque, carnivalesque paranoia of Stalin’s Russia, awaiting imminent arrest.


Seemed like a show anyone could relate to.

The play opened with Three Red Days, Shostakovich’s story which, was entirely movement based and a little more abstract; more along the lines of an installation piece or performance art rather than a linear story line. I can appreciate what they were trying to do but, I had no idea what was going on…

I wanted to leave.

But the appearance of a live band at intermission managed to keep me there.

To say it summed up the human condition is an oversimplification but, it did. You watch a frustrated artist cope with the realization that no one will appreciate his work; thus no one will appreciate his existence, thus; his only option is death.

Who would want to live in a world where they will never be appreciated?

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,

The pangs of despised love…
– Shakespeare, Hamlet

Regardless of whether you’re a mime, or a writer, or a welder; you know what he’s talking about, and I think we’ve all asked ourselves, does it get better? We’ve all struggled with being misunderstood; everyone wants to be accepted. If we want to change anything, we need to listen and support each other. Compassion is so integral to our experience as humans on this planet.

We all have our own notions of what Mime is, but it is so much more than that. It’s not simply a dead art form where some idiot tries to get out of an invisible box. It demonstrates the themes of life that cannot be articulated with words; expressing the non-verbal.

Italian Mime Suicide is a simple but, poignant perspective on the life of an artist. It demonstrates the great follies of the human condition through charming, tragic and delightful moments of stillness and interaction. A truly compelling show for one with the ability to throw away tradition and the willingness to forgive people.

Mime is the essence of every art form.

“Mime is a white table cloth on which all the artistic disciplines arrange.”

Adam Paolozza

Italian Mime Suicide//Three Red Days will be running at the Theatre Centre on 1115 Queen St. West from October 8-23.

Starring : Viktor Lukawski, Miranda Calderon, Rob Feetham, Adam Paolozza.

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