by Jim Murchison
Before I start this review I am going to make a couple of public service announcements. I almost missed this play because of an error on the program. The overview foldout has some errors, consequently I thought I was seeing a play an hour and a half later than its actual scheduled time. One would be wise to double check the schedule against the performance list under the show’s title to identify conflicts.
Martin Dockery is a perennial favourite at the Ottawa Fringe and he is playing with Vanessa Quesnelle, the same actress that appeared with him last year in The Pit. The two have an undeniable chemistry that audiences here relate to.
Dockery also is a skilful teller of tales and weaver of emotions and as always there are obstacles to communication that form the conflict of good theatre. Often the characters create the obstacles themselves through their own insecurities, anger or pride.
A great deal of the humour and passion of this play grows out of the confusion over what the actual relationship is. You’re not certain if Ms Quesnelle is a sex trade worker, an actress, a stranger, a lover or a wife; she and Dockery are constantly reframing the circumstances so you are not certain where the role play and the game end and reality begins. Sometimes you think it is becoming clearer but relationships are complicated so you are always a little off balance. At times it is emotional and often funny, but always as confusing as real life relationships are. The play ends with a bit of a question mark as well. This was the first time the play was performed in front of an audience and will do nothing to lessen the popularity of this performing couple.