Soulpepper’s latest offering is The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale, being presented in association with Outside the March and Red Light District theatre companies. The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale is created and performed by Haley McGee and based on the real events of her life. It chronicles her financial struggles after moving to the UK, and how anything that she had of value to try and sell had been given to her by her ex-boyfriends. Charming, witty, smart, and very, very funny, The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale is a unique examination of our relationships and what the cost of love really is.
There are so many different and interesting aspects to this piece, but I would absolutely hate to spoil the surprises and fun for anyone, so let me just say this: in true Outside the March fashion, this play is very interactive. Not in a way that singles out any one audience member, but asks us to participate as a whole audience. Our participation is actually a vital part of the production, as we help to determine the cost of love for McGee and the 8 relationships she discusses via the 8 objects she has for sale in her titular yard sale. By all of the laughter and cheering in the audience I was a part of, I could tell that everyone was having an excellent time.
Another element which I wasn’t fully expecting was that McGee used recordings of her interviews with these ex’s during the performance, as well as email correspondence which had bene sent to her during her research for the show. I thought this was brilliant as it allowed us to experience their real reactions to what she was asking them, as well get a gauge for how she felt about the relationships now. Some of those excerpts greatly swayed the audience’s opinions by the end of the show; giving context not just from McGee herself but directly from the horse’s (or rather typewriter or bicycle’s) mouth.
McGee is absolutely stellar; you can tell how vulnerable she’s making herself and yet how essential that is to the story. Through her allowing us in to some of the best and worst times in her life, we better understand her healing journey and attempting to figure out an actual mathematical formula for the cost of love. The way she used every nook and cranny of the stage, moving things about and pulling sheets of paper from little hidden spots was amazing. The energy she must have to accomplish each performance is astounding! But you can tell how passionate she is about telling her story and helping others through her own journey. I loved how much genuine research she put into the formula and I can’t wait to read her book of the same title (there are some for sale at Soulpepper before and after the show) to delve even deeper into this incredible story.
The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale is truly for everyone, whether you’ve had great relationships or horrible ones, you’ll relate to this piece of theatre. It’s certainly got me thinking about the relationships in my life (both romantic and friendships) and their impact on me as well. The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale runs until November 6th so get your tickets ASAP! I promise, you don’t want to miss this! For more information and tickets visit: Soulpepper Theatre – Plays, Concerts & Musicals
Photo by Dahlia Katz