Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: (Ottawa) Botched (Fringe)

Honest, Sad…and Whimsical?
by Robyn Lester

Tonight is your last chance to check out Botched, a dark comedy written by Colleen Osborn.

This is yet another play I could spend days analyzing.  I found it rather progressive in that it didn’t really buy into the polarized debate on abortion.  It’s not for, or against.  Instead it seems to express that there is no right answer.  No perfect solution.  

It’s odd to use this word given the subject matter, but the play had a whimsical feel to it.  The set consisted of a room scattered with toys, games, and dolls.  A space that looked as if it belonged to a child.  But it actually belonged to an 18-year old.  Our protagonist.  A young woman who survived a botched abortion as a fetus.
The dolls were used to play-act several characters; her adopted mother, a doctor, pro-life, and pro-choice protesters.  It was strange.  At times the play took on a circus freak-show feel, which was a perfect way to echo the emotions of our protagonist.  But the use of dolls also helped make a controversial topic more palatable.  An important thing when dealing with such a sensitive issue.  If real actors replaced the dolls, it would have been much more dramatic, and I think it would have been more likely that the audience would get lost in their own opinions versus actually allowing themselves to step into the shoes of the characters.  

The only thing I feel the need to add is that the dark comedy aspect didn’t really resonate with the audience.  There were times when I picked up on the humour, but it was one of those situations where you didn’t want to laugh because no one else was laughing.

I’d definitely recommend this.  It was a fascinating show, and well-written, with unique characters and great acting.  It’s on tonight at 8:30 p.m, in venue 4 (Studio Leonard-Beaulne).  Check it out!

Botched receives its last performance tonight at the Ottawa Fringe

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