Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: (Toronto) One Side of an Ampersand (Fringe)

One side of a very promising play
Julie McCann’s drama offers punch and promise... but where’s the rest?
by Christian Baines
Amid the – somewhat traditional – calls for marriage equality currently heard in the US and elsewhere, One Side of an Ampersand blows in like a breath of fresh air to dare ask the question: Well, what if that just doesn’t work for us?
Alice and Helen are dating. Or screwing. Or sleeping over. Or... what are they doing? Whatever it is, they’ve been doing it for two years and they like it. But has the time come to put a ring on it, as so many of their acquaintances and sometime lovers seem to be doing?
Zoe Brownstone, as Alice has been given the meatiest role in McCann’s play, as the girl unwilling to settle down. Or perhaps she just wants to do so on her own terms? Either way, Brownstone commands the stage, sometimes leaving the other characters looking a touch flat, though Helen shows signs of development in the play’s lean 45 minutes.
So… let’s talk about that. 
McCann has tackled a really interesting theme here, and she’s done so with likeable, engaging characters. But it leaves us hungry for much more – perhaps too much to be fully satisfying as a self-contained work. Not that there isn’t an ending, or that Alice and Helen’s relationship doesn’t evolve before final bows. However, it feels like just the first plot development in a much wider story.
In the play’s current form, the ending seems to interrupt the story in full flight, creating a somewhat surprising and confusing dismount. One hopes McCann might take us for a longer ride soon.
Running Time: 45mins

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.