Reviews - Fringe 2017

Anybody Else

By Mackenzie Kristjon Jenkyns
Published July 18, 2016

Someone on the street asked me what this play was about and the first thing that popped out of my mouth was, "It somehow wove together Oedipus Rex, dreamscapes, Sigmund Freud, and art in somewhat of a Woody Allen kind of way."

That someone said, "Wow! Did they make it work?" I nodded and explained that only my therapist knows for sure.

Thaddeus Blume (Ryan Sero) is having romance issues with Josephine (portrayed marvellously by Pamela Gardner). He is a writer who lacks confidence; she is a successful and flamboyant artist. His therapists have been killing themselves left, right, and centre. It looks pretty hopeless.

Just then, enter Sigmund Freud to the rescue. Hilariously portrayed by Sean Emberley, Freud walks our depressed Thaddeus through his subconscious and history with his girlfriend, making fun yet insightful remarks along the way.

There are several love triangles that provide amusing tensions and moments of jealousy between the characters. Thaddeus steals his girlfriend from another character also portrayed by Sean Emberley, which sets up a visual tension as the same actor playing the one hurt by Thaddeus is also playing the character helping him.

Occasionally we get the dream sequence version of a Greek chorus - and I will not give away the clever jokes and anachronistic flourishes which I felt were highlights. Every great play should have a Greek chorus like this!

Ultimately it all ties together as Sigmund Freud diagnoses Thaddeus with an Oedipal complex, which leads to Pamela Gardner - who had been portraying his girlfriend - now playing his mother. If that were not enough, she plays this role like the ultimate stereotypical Brooklyn Jew straight out of a Woody Allen movie or an SNL sketch. Hilarious!

Recommended for anyone who has ever been in a relationship. I hope that in the sequel we find out how Thaddeus kills his father and that we get to meet Carl Jung!

Mackenzie Kristjon is an Icelandic-Canadian singer-songwriter and all around creative force. He has published numerous books including the award-winning Culinary Saga of New Iceland. He also has roots in community radio at CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph. To hear/see/download his music, you can visit thismaddesire.bandcamp.com.

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