You should have stayed at home the G20 story is the most important play I have ever reviewed. It tells the real story of what happened at G20, from the perspective of Tommy Taylor whom many of you will know from his famous facebook message regarding the event.
The stage is very minimalistic consisting of a table, a laptop that Tommy Taylor uses to protect an image that serves to introduce the subjects he talks about, and an indoor outhouse with no door. The last of these things was in fact what was actually at their cell. It showcases just how little effort was put into giving the prisoners basic human dignity.
Tommy Taylor tells how he went to the freedom park during G20 out of curiosity. He ended up taking part in his first protest in support of grandmothers who have to adopt the next generation of their family because that generations parents had died of AIDS. The next day he his girlfriend and her best friend decide to see what’s going on. After a serious of events they end up trapped in a police circle and arrested for no good reason. The rest of the play is Tommy Taylor telling what happened to him and the other prisoners. despite how brutal and harrowing it is there is also a strange comedy that runs through the play such as when one of the other prisoners produces a condom that they blow up and use as a ball to entertain themselves. He tells the others that he’ll tell people “being in prison with 30 other guys was terrible until one of us found a condom.” However as the play goes on these comedic bits give way as he explains how even the most basic human rights were denied to each prisoner. One of the more haunting scenes in the play is when a crowd of volunteer actors enter the theatre and represent the prisoners. They all sit around staring at their empty cups which represent that besides everything else the prisoners were even denied water for a long time.
After the play there was a Q&A session that revealed even more information including the fact that only two of the officers involved have been charged and that two of the more high ranking officers can never be charged under our current laws because they retired. It also notes other ways our basic human rights have been slowly chipped away in recent years.
Before this play the only way I knew about these events was from the Fifth Estate coverage of it, but this was a much stronger emotional experience. I will never forget the events portrayed in this play nor should I. This was one of the worst human rights violations in Canada during the 21st century and something has to be done. The play will be in Whitehorse for two more days and then will be moving to the following cities at the following times
Vancouver, British Columbia: Firehall Arts Centre, Sept 24 -Oct 5, 2013
Toronto, Ontario: Aki Theatre, Oct 16 -27, 2013
Montreal, Quebec: Mainline Theatre Oct 30 – Nov 2, 2013
Ottawa, Ontario: Arts Court Theatre, November 13-16, 2013.
If you have a chance to see this play or indeed to be in it since volunteering is still open I would recommend that if there is only one play you see this year, let it be this one.