In the Toronto Fringe
show Adventures of a Supervet Tech
, Sandra Lean-Leighton
shares tales from over two decades as a Veterinary Technician. This is a zany, energetic show that packs a few unexpectedly emotional punches. This marriage of Lean-Leighton’s rich background in theatre with the colourful experiences she’s had as a vet tech aims to shed some light on a valuable but underappreciated profession. As she puts it, she takes audiences ‘beyond the furry veil.’
Sandra Lean-Leighton spent the first two decades of her career in performance, finding opportunities in Canada and internationally, both behind-the-scenes and as an actor. She founded Lilliput Productions, a children’s theatre company for which she wrote, performed, and produced a number of successful shows.
Lean-Leighton really gives it her all in this multimedia show, and is unflappable onstage. She’s a confident and warm performer, and able to charm. These are skills she likely honed in children’s theatre, and they work just as well here.
Indeed, I could see this show playing well to a wide range of ages, so long as audience members are prepared for some gross-out humour and frank discussion of male reproductive equipment.
If you require your theatre to be Very Serious and Cerebral, this isn’t for you. Lean-Leighton wears a superhero costume for much of the show, and there are plenty of goofy moments. However, if you’re willing to go with the flow and have some fun, there are laughs to be had as well as things to learn!
There are also brow-raising tales, particularly when Lean-Leighton reveals a few of the stranger behaviours exhibited by the more eccentric pet owners she’s encountered. She’s never cruel, however. In fact, there are some poignant moments as she discusses death, dignity, compassion and pain in an understated way that is quietly moving.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show, but Lean-Leighton won me over with her charisma and commitment. She’s not afraid of a little razzle-dazzle, and I couldn’t help but grin in response. It’s clear she loves what she does – the acting as well as her work with animals – and that adds something undeniable to this show.
Adventures of a SuperVet Tech is a delightful production which exceeded my expectations. It is a passionate, entertaining and inspiring work. Some surprises: the amount of technology used in the field by a vet tech; the pathos evoked in the segment about euthanasia, which had a very personal aspect to it; and the description of the CRAZY (her word) pet owners encountered. Fast moving, creative, and a great piece of theatre. Thank you Sandra for your WORK!! Joan S. Toronto
The show re-ignited my student’s passion for the profession and she felt much more confident in moving forward with pride and excitement. She wanted to make sure that we knew how helpful the show was to her and thanked us for arranging your visit. I think that is proof-positive that you are achieving your goal of encouraging and inspiring these students! I was watching the students (and our staff) through the show, and lots of smiling, nodding and genuine enjoyment was evident!