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Insurmountable Simplicities: Philosophers Say The Darndest Things (Fringe Festival 2010)

by Stephen Tortora-Lee on August 27, 2010

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Are you who you think you are or just who others say you are?  Are you a combination somewhere in the middle – or none of the above?  How do you get caught in a rectilinear paradox?  Can’t you just do what the sign says no matter where it’s saying it?

Insurmountable Simplicities (written by Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi, adapted and directed by Natalie Glick) is a very fast paced play with witty dialogue and superb acting which helps us pull apart various layers of philosophical conundrums.

Using six stories enacted by four thoughtful and intelligent actors (Alex Herrald, Victoria Pollack, Richard LaFleur, Alice Winslow) their points are made humorously rather than pedantically and in a way that really struck a chord with me. Here a brief synopsis of each of the concept plays performed in Insurmountable Simplicities.

Zombie Sleeping Pills
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to just turn off your consciousness on a boring ordeal like an airplane, but be productive and experiential at the same time?  Enter Zombie Sleeping Pills.  Just your consciousness sleeps while the rest of  you can exercise your thinking processes, determining whether or not this is such a good idea from a practical, existential as well as a human and emotional level.

The Poet As A Young Man
A time traveler goes back through the ages to determine the origins of one the greatest poets in history.  Before a certain point in his life he was unremarkable, but within days he will be one of the most amazing minds the world has ever known. What makes the standard into the extraordinary?  The tricks of perception we can have when we truly come face to face with ourselves are sometimes enough to help us turn the corner of our experience to the profound.

Risky Cake
What about that cake?  Audience participation and crowd sourcing is taken to the extreme as the prisoner’s diligent is enacted before our very eyes for just the cost of a piece of cake.  How can ultimate knowledge help in a situation where nothing is knowable except our guess of what will be free will?  Find out more at the play.

Self Reference Self Explained
What if the nature of what goes into a discussion were talking  with itself?  Find out the the nature of truth and pardox in this amazingly thoughtful and laugh out loud philosophical narration with four voices.

With media always trying to give us advice ask yourself this: If you always did what you read would you ever get anywhere?   This sketch answers this from many different directions in the Costoldi & Bros. Fancy Bowtie Shop.

Room 88
If all your perception suddenly became a perfect mirror things wouldn’t be so perfect.  It’s as if we look at Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave with some modern sensibilities, but don’t know what to do when we realize we are truly alone in our perceptions after all.

I’d suggest making the time to see the comedic philosophical sketches with original music composed and performed by Duncan Wood.  Just 2 more shows – catch it while you can.  You won’t be sorry.


Insurmountable Simplicities
All Gone Theatre Company
Writer: Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi, Adapted by Natalie Glick
Director: Natalie Glick

0h 50m
VENUE #1: Dixon Place

Click on the link below to purchase tickets:

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