Stage Door News

Toronto: Haley McGee returns to Toronto with her smash hit show, “The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale” February 5-9

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Hot off the heels of a sold out premiere run in the UK, Haley McGee returns to Toronto for the Canadian premiere of The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale as part Progress, the international festival of ideas and performanceplaying at the Theatre Centre from Feb 5-9.  UK press lauded the show as“deeply felt, consistently hilarious and hypnotically honest” (Exeunt), “a powerhouse performance” (★★★★ The Stage) and it was listed in The Guardian’s ‘Readers’ Favourite Theatre of 2018.’

Haley McGee was on the phone with Visa, promising to pay off her bill by having a yard sale, when she realized the only things she could sell were gifts from her ex-boyfriends. Inspired by this call, The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale is a hilarious and daring show about the cost of love … or what love costs us. In a quest to determine what our romantic relationships are worth, this autobiographical show smashes together personal divulgences, math, recorded interviews with real ex-boyfriends and the politics of economics. One of the stars of the show is a brand-new formula to calculate the cost of love. This formula was developed with partner mathematicians, led by mathematical expert Melanie Frances.

McGee is bringing her show to Toronto three years after relocating to London, UK.  The production is curated and produced by the red light district in collaboration with Outside the March.  “I’ve always found Haley’s solo work to be deceptively rigorous,” said red light district Artistic Director ted witzel, “she’s so utterly present and such an engaging and disarming performer that you often don’t notice how tightly crafted the theatrical forms she’s working with are.  She weaves her material together with a rare deftness, and as an improvisor she takes astonishing care of her audience.  I’m especially excited by the ambition of this project, and the variety of manifestations she’s built out of this material—branching out into crowdsourcing, installation and digital media to offer her audiences an array of ways in to the questions she’s asking.”

The Toronto run will include sister events to engage its audiences with the themes of love, money, relationships and numbers, such as an Interactive Gallery Installation (Feb 5-9 during the daytime) where audiences can appraise Haley’s objects and contribute their own break up stories and stats and a Financial Literacy Crash Course in collaboration with Generator (Feb 8 at 1:30pm) and a post-show discussion (Feb 9 at 9:15pm). With The Ex-Boyfriend Yard SaleHaley McGee asks, ‘how can we translate sentimental value into cold hard cash?’

“Haley is simply one of the smartest, most original, and urgent voices in theatre today,” said director Mitchell Cushman. “Haley knows exactly what kind of theatre she wants to create—and it’s work born out of a boredom of the status quo, of half-choices and safe tropes. It’s been thrilling to work with her as she smashes the ‘one-woman show about the cost of love’ formula, even as she has crafted her own (literal) formula for the cost of love.”

This performance, directed by Toronto’s Mitchell Cushman, was developed in the UK in Camden People’s Theatre’s Starting Blocks scheme; it won the Wilderness Festival new work commission and was developed for the 3-week run at Camden People’s Theatre with public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale has also been supported by Euston Town, Old Diorama Arts Centre, Battersea Arts Centre, The Albany and PULSE Festival, and has received grants from The Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators’ Reserve and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Title: The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale

Artist: Haley McGee

Venue: Theatre Centre

Dates: Feb 5-8 at 9pm & Feb 9 at 7:30pm (doors open 15 minutes prior to the show)

Ticket prices: $27.99

Age restriction: 16+

Box office: 416-538-0988

 Copy: Haley McGee was on the phone with Visa promising to pay off her bill by having a yard sale, when she realised the only things she could sell were gifts from her ex-boyfriends. Inspired by this call, The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale is a hilarious and daring show about the cost of love… or what love costs us.

Photo: Haley McGee. © 2018 Matt Peberdy.

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