Reviews - Fringe 2019

Slow Dancing With Mediocre Boys

By Mark Fenton
Published July 22, 2019


There's nothing exceptional about the protagonist of Slow Dancing With Mediocre Boys, and that's the point. It's the high-school angst of every girl in an industrialized democracy. In fact, her search for 'mediocre' boys - or 'targets' as she calls them - betrays her own ordinariness. She aims low and still misses. This is a classic recipe for comedy.

The conceptual simplicity allows Grace Smith's personality to shine, and she has more than enough personality to leave us wanting more. What else can you ask of a Fringe comedy?

It's was impressively staged, particularly the scenes of the cyber-world, a challenge to render in theatre which is material by definition. The offstage voice embodying her cyber-relationship was brilliant and I've never laughed so hard at the sound a scanner makes. I also laughed out loud at the very idea of meeting a boy at the Environmental Trivia Club. (How millennial is that.)

There are a couple of sight gags I won't reveal, one of them subtle enough that the joke only hit me after I left the theatre. The premise of the play may be obvious but the execution is innovative and the details have comic originality. Grace Smith is someone to watch.

Mark Fenton lives in Hamilton and works in transportation logistics. He is the author Pim, a children's book for all ages. The eponymous Pim tweets daily @PIMSLIM_. A physical copy of Pim will be published soon and in the meantime Pim is available as a Kindle e-book which you can buy. Mark maintains a website at www.markfenton.ca.

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