Reviews - Fringe 2017

Mary, I Have His Pants!

By Arthur Bullock
Published July 18, 2016

Vacations are normally a time for relaxation. You sit back and relax, allowing your troubles to fade away - or you do something fun and let them blow away in the wind. Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan - something that "Mary, I have his pants!" does an exceptional job of telling us.

The play follows John Timmins, a stubborn and boisterous man, during an annual trip up north to the cabin of his mild-mannered brother Joey. At the insistence of John's wife Mary, the two of them are joined by John's shy-yet-talkative best friend Randy. Things seem normal at first, but the eventual revelation of an unexpected secret threatens to send everything spiraling out of control.

The comedy of "Mary, I Have His Pants!" is satisfyingly energetic. I wouldn't describe it as fast-paced, since the action is slow enough for you to clearly identify what's going on, but the jokes are delivered at an almost constant pace.

This never threatens to ruin the drama - most of the tense scenes manage to keep the jokes in line with the situation at hand, and particularly dramatic moments will temporarily stop the flow of humour.

Almost all of the play's onstage activity takes place inside Joey's cabin - the only exception to this is a car ride at the very beginning, which simply uses the couch to represent car seats.

As such, once the opening narration has concluded, backstory is told entirely through characters' conversations. The dialogue is set up so that all of the exposition sounds believable and situationally appropriate, which I found to be particularly impressive.

John and his companions may have had a stressful time during their trip to the cabin, but the audience seemed to enjoy every moment of it. "Mary, I Have His Pants!" is a great play - unusually for a story set in Canada, it has nothing to apologize for.

Arthur Bullock is studying communications at McMaster University.

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