Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: (Winnipeg) Nothing Serious (Fringe)

Thrice the Frustration
by Edgar Governo

Before seeing Nothing Serious, I was unfamiliar with the work of New York playwright Rich Orloff, but there is seriously nothing in the three (mercifully) short plays making up this show which makes me want to seek out more of his work.

Playwriting 101: The Rooftop Lesson starts out promising to be an interesting metafictional look at the nature of dramatic conflict, but it says nothing particularly insightful and finishes with a gratuitously shocking 'twist' ending that isn't helped by having its characters pointing out the tropes as they happen.

Eve and Adam: The Untold Story feels rather often told, a well-worn flip-the-script version of the Garden of Eden story from the Book of Genesis that thinks swapping genders and engaging in stereotypical guys-are-like-this/girls-are-like-that interplay amounts to a sophisticated commentary on misogyny.

Oh My God, It's Another Play! accurately reflected in its title the sentiment I felt at this point in the show with a show-within-the-show that is just as unremarkable, featuring a clich├ęd swishy director as a character and little else. (I will admit that the fictional director had one of the few lines I really liked in the whole performance when describing his ambition to be "on the cutting edge of nonthreatening theatre.")

It would be nice to at least credit the actor playing that director, or any of the eight cast members onstage, but the mysterious Acting as a Way of Life theatre company of Winnipeg offered up no programme or any sort of online presence, so their unsuccessful efforts in this production at least have the benefit of fading into obscurity.

To July 27

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