Reviews - Fringe 2017

All KIDding Aside

By Jessica Rose
Published July 20, 2016

"Do we ever feel ready to have kids?"

This is one of the many questions posed by Christel Bartelse in her one-woman show All KIDding Aside. The play's humorous and thoughtful observations, delivered through a series of monologues, make her opinion quite clear - There is no perfect moment to choose to procreate, and even if there were, biology often has other plans.

Diagnosed with endometriosis, Bartelse was never sure she could have kids, but to make things even more complicated, she was never sure she wanted to.

Set in a gynaecologist's office as Bartelse awaits the results of a pregnancy test, All KIDding Aside explores issues of fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood in a conversational tone.

In some of its more lighthearted moments, Bartelse pokes fun of everything from baby showers to annoying friends with kids (You know, the "Your life doesn't begin until you're a parent" ones).

Endlessly creative, All KIDding Aside begins with Bartelse birthing a gigantic papier mâché baby, a huge umbilical cord tied around her. However, the most memorable moments of this play are tender and sweet.

Whether you've had children, have yet to have children, are unable to have children, or have sworn off children completely, All KIDding Aside is easy is to relate to, sharing with the audience that both the decision to have children or not to have them are both equally valid and valuable.

Since earning a degree in journalism from Carleton University, Jessica Rose has written for publications in Hamilton and across Canada. Her book reviews have appeared in many magazines, including Quill and Quire, Room, Ricepaper, This, the Humber Literary Review, and on rabble.ca. Jessica sits on the board of gritLIT: Hamilton's Readers and Writers Festival. She writes "Shelf Life," Hamilton Magazine's books column and she's also a senior editor for the upcoming Hamilton Review of Books. You can find her blogging on her website, Not My Typewriter, and the Hamilton Arts Council.

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