Reviews - Fringe 2014

Fringe Review: XOXO: The Relationship Show

By Sue Yarwood
Published July 28, 2014

One excellent benefit of attending Fringe plays is the chance to discover nooks and crannies of this city which you had previously not noticed.

The beautiful space at 95 King Street East, Mills Hardware, has been a theatre venue for exactly 9 days. Its gorgeous exposed brick and vaulted ceiling reminded me of how many architectural treasures lie behind our Core's sometimes disheveled fa├žade.

Fittingly, then, XOXO: The Relationship Show deals with old themes viewed in a new light.

The eternal search for love is given a cabaret treatment by the talented duo of Meghan Chalmers and Franny McCabe-Bennett as they focus on dating in an era of IM and Snapchat.

The one-hour performance moves briskly between songs and skits. Chalmers and McCabe-Bennett show versatility, comedic timing and great chemistry in their energized song 'Oops, You Did It Again,' which addresses some men's penchants for sending anatomical selfies.

The pair employ their lovely and complementary voices, as well as dance skills, to reassure the lonely that there will always be a place of comfort to welcome us (hint: it involves a mermaid).

Some skits humorously examine the growing disparity between our everyday lives and our online presence, while other sketches take a magnifying glass to the potential for miscommunication in a world of media saturation. To LIKE or not to LIKE, that is the question.

Finally, just to remind us that the reading of signals and the expressing of love has been a complicated art throughout time, the pair perform a clever series of intertwined soliloquies.

This is a fun, fresh and recommended hour.

Sidenote: Performers cross-promoted shows with similar themes and Chalmers and McCabe-Bennett rightly recommended another new take on a woman's search for love, the charming Love with Leila, written, directed and acted by the talented Izad Etemadi. (Read the RTH review.)

Sue Yarwood is a mother of two amazing girls, is prone to wandering the streets of Hamilton sticking things in boxes and is a huge fan of Fringe.

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