Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: (Ottawa) The Show Must Go On (Fringe)

Quest for Perfection
by Jim Murchison 

Jeff Leard got his first paying gig in travelling children's theatre and how that experience challenged him and taught him is the source of an entertaining play about the pitfalls of life on the road. The simple challenge is, “Get through the entire tour without cancelling a show.” At times there are delightful surprises but more often than not it is hard work that can be exhausting and even dangerous.

Why do you do it then? That's the question that The Show Must Go On answers in a 60 minute journey of what is good and what is bad in the life of a touring performer; actually three performers as Leard plays the other members of the company, as well as some of the characters they encounter along the way, but we experience the trip for the most part through Leard's eyes. For us it's always fun. Sometimes experiences that were horrible or frightening are the ones we most like talking about once they're in the past and so it is with horror stories of the road. The audience loves them because we relate to them and we're now all a safe distance away.

I won't go into the details of the journey as Leard is the storyteller here. What I will say is that whether the job of theatre is to inform or educate or simply entertain is irrelevant.Ultimately and inevitably performers learn from their audiences and vice versa. If you love theatre and storytelling this is a good choice to add to your cart. 

The show Must Go On will also be playing at Fringe Festivals in London, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria

runtime: approximately 60 minutes with no intermission
The Show Must Go On runs until June 30

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