Fringe Review: Toast

Spending 15 minutes up a stepladder with Katy Slater is an unusual experience

I don't really know what to write about this short, quixotic performance.

English performer Katy Slater sits on a stepladder for 15 minutes and recounts how and why she got there and why a stepladder is an improvement on a suitcase.

Absurd without being bombastic, honest without being self-indulgent, Slater has an easy way of telling stories and a light and intelligent sense of humor. The suitcase, stepladder and other objects are of course metaphorical as Slater muses on life, relationships and the choices we make.

Not quite a raconteur, one almost has the feeling of an author reading from their new book, though this is not a drawback. Slater keeps her audience engaged with little twists and surprises.

While I am all in favor of very short performances, I left feeling we were just beginning and believe the piece could be developed further, taking a few more risks both in style and content. Slater could also vary her pacing a little more – the understated and conversational tone is effective, but even in this brief amount of time it begins to wear thin.

Don’t let this deter you, however, from taking 15 minutes in your day to see how the other half (those on stepladders, in ovens and suitcases) live. Changing perspectives for a while is always a good thing.

For more information on Fringe Festival Praha events see the official website.

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