Reviews - Fringe 2009

Type 2 - A Tragic Comedy

By Tom Mackan
Published July 23, 2009

By Jason Gale
Directed by Eleanor Piotrowski
Featuring Michelle Mainwaring and Jason Gale

Sad and funny. See these two qualities in one entity and what comes to mind immediately is 'a clown'. The classic clown, I mean, who laughs through the tears like Pagliacci or Rigoletto. Tragic comedies? Only if the audience is laughing - don't count the scripted laughter from the stage.

Jason Gale's play almost makes it as a tragic comedy. We almost laugh, here and there, a funny line or a well-turned shtick.

The main character, Jasmine (expertly played by Michelle Mainwaring), is a stand-up comic and her turns in the comedy circuit are staged very realistically, with the laughter canned. One thinks of the courtiers in the Duke's palace partying it up on stage while we watch in silence as Rigoletto mocks and clowns and suffers the "maledictione".

Our audience in the performance last night did laugh, but early, and not loudly. It's only they who laugh last get to laugh loud. And nobody laughs last in this compelling and sincere production.

It is an issue play, and as such has to get the message out. It does that. The issue is manic-depression in its new guise as bipolar disorder. It is explored in the character Michael (another fine performance by the author, Jason Gale) as a kind of occasional instructor with a flip sheet. Michael is married to Jasmine.

The staging is generally well-handled with the expository scenes shifting from domestic life to comedy club to downstage spots that instruct and explain Jasmine is our Rigoletto.

Her "malediction", her curse, is bipolar disorder. She has done nothing to deserve this. Its ravages on herself, on her marriage, and on her career make up the relentless arc of the tale. In the manic phases she is but life itself, full creative comic energy, while in the depressions life deserts her.

It's an exhausting battle between to two extremes, and the tale that is told is of that battle and its outcome for these two wonderfully likeable people.


Tom Mackan is Publisher and editor of NEWZY BITZ, an online Community Theatre newsletter in the GHA, with over 200 subscribers. He is a Member of the Board, Theatre Burlington; an actor and director in GHA Community Theatre for fifty years; winner of over 25 awards and citations in the Western Ontario region and beyond; recipient of 2007 City of Hamilton Arts Award (Theatre); a Graduate of Canadian Theatre School (Sterndale Bennett) Toronto, 1955; and a retired teacher of English and Drama in public and private schools in the GHA and abroad.


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By Jazz (anonymous) | Posted July 24, 2009 at 01:41:03

Dear Tom,
Wow! Thank you so much for your review as well. We are very grateful for your contribution and time in reviewing and attending our show.

The show is definitely an issue piece with a mission. We have been driving back and forth from Windsor in hopes of reaching as many people as possible.

We appreciate all comments from each and every audience member and reviewer alike. Your review was also a pleasure to read and again, thank you.
Michelle J. Mainwaring and Jason Gale, respectfully

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By promoter (anonymous) | Posted July 24, 2009 at 16:29:02

Submitted by Jazz717 on Fri, 2009-07-24 13:25.

July 23, 2009

TYPE 2 - A TRAGIC COMEDY - (Michelle J. Mainwaring / Jason
One of the most honest and intense stories in this year's Fringe is
the all encompassing Type 2. With an absolutely brilliant
performance by Windsor's Michelle J. Mainwaring and a hauntingly
perfect script, this production is not to be missed. (JD)


Ticket prices - $9.00 available at the venue box office before each show or online at

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted July 24, 2009 at 16:29:49

Whoa there Tex! Easy on the capslock.

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By promoter (anonymous) | Posted July 24, 2009 at 16:30:48

Ontario Arts Review For Type 2
Submitted by Jazz717 on Tue, 2009-07-21 00:50.

Opening night review Hamilton Fringe by Danny Gaisin, The Ontario Arts Review


by Danny Graisin certainly is the most important play of Fringe. The play is written by, & co-stars Jason Gale whose personal knowledge of Bi-polar manic depression bestows an added sense of truth to this work. Gale portrays Michael who caringly supports a wife suffering from the illness. Michelle Mainwaring imparts such realism to every symptomatic facet of the mental disease that one forgets this is but a stage performance. Her Jasmine character is a stand-up comedienne so the stress of 'Show Biz' adds to the pressure cooker. Director Eleanor Piotrowski utilizes short episodic skits to present the impulsive moods, energy levels, and the behavioral peaks & valleys experienced by sufferers. The realism of rationalizations; excuses, and rollercoaster mood -swings will make audience members begin to personally wonder "Am I type 1 or Type 2?" This is a must-see production!

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