A Menagerie of Bones

This is a true story about growing up in a dysfunctional family.  It’s about resilience and courage and creativity, of course.  But more importantly, it’s about a game. A game built from things other people threw away.  A game that saved my life.

May
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  4. Wed
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  6. Fri
  7. Sat
  1. 26
    1. 27
      1. 28
        1. 29
          1. 30
            1. 31
              1. 7:30 pm
                A Menagerie of Bones

                See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/a-menagerie-of-bones/ for details.

                Location: Spriet Family Theatre

            June
            1. Sun
            2. Mon
            3. Tue
            4. Wed
            5. Thu
            6. Fri
            7. Sat
            1. 1
              1. 1:00 pm
                A Menagerie of Bones

                See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/a-menagerie-of-bones/ for details.

                Location: Spriet Family Theatre

            2. 2
              1. 6:00 pm
                A Menagerie of Bones

                See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/a-menagerie-of-bones/ for details.

                Location: Spriet Family Theatre

            3. 3
              1. 4
                1. 8:30 pm
                  A Menagerie of Bones

                  See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/a-menagerie-of-bones/ for details.

                  Location: Spriet Family Theatre

              2. 5
                1. 6
                  1. 5:00 pm
                    A Menagerie of Bones

                    See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/a-menagerie-of-bones/ for details.

                    Location: Spriet Family Theatre

                2. 7
                  1. 8:30 pm
                    A Menagerie of Bones

                    See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/a-menagerie-of-bones/ for details.

                    Location: Spriet Family Theatre

                3. 8

                  10 thoughts on “A Menagerie of Bones”

                  1. Risa says:

                    I loved this. Great storytelling and because it’s true it is a sad story but needs to be told.

                  2. Brandon Taylor says:

                    A truly genuine, heartfelt recollection of a harsh childhood. Incredible to experience and told in a way that juxtaposes the joy of escapism with the uncomfortable realism of a harsh childhood flawlessly.

                  3. Greg Kondrak
                    Reviewer
                    says:

                    This is a play about a dysfunctional family, based on true events. Told from the perspective of a child, the themes of abuse and escapism will likely ring true to many audience members. The concept of this play has a lot of merit, exploring the helplessness of a child stuck in an abusive household. The story is creatively told using a child’s toy box, including dolls made of yarn and tiny sets made of cardboard and paint. Kim Stark, the star and creator of the story proves to be a resilient performer, revealing after the play that she was nursing a broken leg. Her authenticity comes across with every word, and it clear that this story is very important to her. However, the poetic style of the show’s writing becomes very repetitive very quickly, and does not clearly tie into any of the themes of the play. Furthermore, there is a noticeable disconnect between the main story and the circus story which it frames. Rather than creating a contrast with Kim’s dark reality, the circus plot line becomes a disinteresting slog. In the end, the play felt like less of a play and more of a haphazard list of traumatic events and childhood imagination. Overall, an incredibly valuable and personal play about an individual’s trauma unfortunately falls just short of the level of quality which the topic deserves.
                    2.5/5

                    **

                  4. Richard Lee says:

                    Very well expressed story about survival in a dysfunctional family. Well done and the emotions expressed can be felt very well by the audience. A play that you will carry home and will make you think about your own upbringing and childhood adjustment to circumstances. Best play at the fringe this year in my opinion!

                  5. Nancy Clarke says:

                    In Menagerie of Bones we are given a glimpse into one day in the life of a young girl, her two siblings, her deeply abusive father and her emotionally struggling mother.

                    To cope with the verbal and physical violence in her house, Kim Stark as a child creates The Land Of Small – an imaginary world she builds out of things that are thrown away or considered useless. These things are similar to the way she feels in her house, an afterthought, not relevant, disowned.

                    The play weaves back and forth between a traumatic day in Kim’s childhood to her time in her imaginary world where her siblings are allowed to watch but not speak.

                    In the Land of Small four children escape from an abusive orphanage and are recruited into a travelling circus lead by a kindly Circus Master and a nurturing bearded lady. Here the children find a place amongst the misfits. A home that is safe and happy.

                    In the play Kim has created a magical miniature world with colourful cardboard Circus tents and trapeze wires. There are handmade figures that come to life as trapeze artists and side show creatures.

                    The contrast between the painful reality of her childhood and her imaginary world are powerful and poignant. It shows that creativity and imagination can grow and flourish, even within the walls of violence and abuse. Kim has beautifully demonstrated that this imaginary world was her and her siblings’ safe place. A place that was their true home in a world that had failed them.
                    Menagerie of Bones is a must in this years London Fringe Festival.

                  6. Mim says:

                    I went into a Menagerie of Bones already knowing, more or less, what I was about to experience, and it still shattered me. There are stories you can never get out of your head, and this is one of those. Kim Stark talks about survival, and why escapism is sometimes necessary, in a way that is both poetic and brutally honest. This show will not coddle you. It doesn’t care about your feeling. It is just telling the truth, and overall, I think it is painful,but neccessary. I also think it’s the best thing Kim has ever written, which is, if you know her, high praise indeed.

                  7. Karen Schuessler says:

                    Brava! Excellent show tonight, Kim! I enjoyed how it flowed between reality and fantasy. And I thought how you portrayed reality was really brilliant. We got it, but there was a buffer and we didn’t get lost in it. Especially in a small intimate theatre. Really effective. And your performance was excellent as well. Focussed and clear. You can be very proud of your show.

                    Congratulations!

                  8. Menagerie of Bones was not enjoyable to experience. Themes of abuse, escape, alcoholism and fear are the foundations of the play, yet there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is ever he left but of knowing that the protagonist and her children do not grow to be burdened by the entire weight of that past. The play had a sense of the immediate, the moment.
                    The two main concepts: the world of abuse and the World of Small we’re successfully separated by tone of voice and (perhaps too) subtle lighting.
                    A choice may have been to change the pacing of text between the worlds to differentiate them.
                    The play, overall, was a good example of a Fringe production and shines a light on a serious but important subject.

                  9. Natasha says:

                    Kim Stark gives an incredible performance in Menagerie of Bones. Every moment is filled with the intense emotions of a child in an impossible situation. You will find yourself holding your breath with her in one moment, and smiling with joy in the next. The juxtaposition of the world of her reality and the world of her imagination highlights the weight of responsibility she feels as a sister and a daughter and the struggle to remain true to herself in the midst of it all.

                    You will be hard pressed to leave the theatre with eyes dry but you will be better for it.

                  10. 'Rie says:

                    Kim: No one had to tell you to “break a leg” before each compelling performance of A Menagerie of Bones!
                    You already had – in the midst of a frigid, icy winter, mere months before the Fringe.

                    And just as you triumphed over adversity through your childhood, so too you persevered through this added injury to this tale of perverse insult, and gamely carried on, finding ways to cope and rise above the pain.

                    I largely knew what to expect in your retelling and enacting of living through a childhood with abusive parents forever catapulting themselves past all edges of sanity and reason. Parental instincts, or hints of kindness were no where to be found.

                    We have compared notes of our twisted “dysfunctional” upbringings over many mochas and cups of coffee at our neighbourhood cafe.
                    And still I found your performance, astonishing and of-course profoundly saddening. It is a moving, and simultaneously matter-of-fact sounding accounting of having to grow up too fast as an eight year old child, protecting your self and your younger siblings from this madness. Your antidote to this horror, in using your considerable imagination to create The Land of Small is uplifting.
                    You have obviously continued to cultivate this creativity and imagination in the life you live today.
                    Bravo.

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