Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: (Winnipeg) The Cockwhisperer - A Love Story (Fringe)

A Long, Hard Learning Process
by Edgar Governo

When Nicholas Evans first wrote The Horse Whisperer and brought that term into the public consciousness, I'm sure he never imagined that people would also end up whispering to dogs and ghosts...and, eventually, penises.

Colette Kendall has a very charming and personable onstage presence, which helps make up for the sometimes overly familiar nature of the territory covered in The Cockwhisperer - A Love Story. Her affection for the titular organ is clear, but some of my favourite moments in the show were those which deviated most from the intended subject matter, such as the grand reveal of her childhood Academic Achievement Award in Canadian History ("After Show Viewing: $1") and a particularly graphic joke at the expense of former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.

Although the programme describes this as "[a] phallic journey both humorous and dark," I also wasn't expecting a brief turn into very dark territory in what was otherwise a fairly lighthearted coming-of-age story. It would be wrong to say that I think that turn shouldn't have been there at all, but the change in tone was jarring and (assuming it wasn't entirely intentional, as she does lampshade the sudden shift) could use some restructuring for a better fit into the performance as a whole.

Despite the promise of the title, there is only a small amount of actual cockwhispering to be seen--but just because I said it was small doesn't mean I wasn't satisfied.

July 16 - 27

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