Reviews - Fringe 2015

Fringe 2015 Review: ONEymoon

By Jessica Rose
Published July 24, 2015


Some performers just have it. You know, that perfect mix of confidence, charisma, and magnetism that is never obnoxious? Some performers can command a stage from the moment they step onto it, keeping audiences engaged until the very end through impeccable timing and laugh-out-loud humour. Christel Bartelse is one of those performers, and her one-person play, ONEymoon, is a must-see at Hamilton Fringe.

Set against a soundtrack of sickly sweet pop songs, ONEymoon is, simply put, the story of a woman, Caroline Bierman, who marries herself after being dumped on the eve of her wedding. Not only does she marry herself, but she also takes herself on her already-paid-for honeymoon, buys a house, and remains (mostly) faithful to herself. Caroline is quirky and likeable, despite her foolishness, and among all things, she's thoroughly entertaining.

Bartelse relies heavily on physical comedy, complete with a tap-dancing routine. Her chameleon-like abilities allow her to seamlessly transform into additional characters during flashbacks with ease. Among them are Caroline's overbearing mother and a bad first date she found while "man-shopping" online. Bartelse's boundless energy is what makes ONEymoon shine.

A word of warning for the awkwardly shy introverts among us: Stick to the back of the theatre. Bartelse has a habit of plucking members of the audience to do everything from officiate her nuptials to apply her sunscreen, which makes for awkwardly hilarious comedy that the audience loved.

Next up for Christel Bartelse is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where undoubtedly she'll have her audience laughing out loud. ONEymoon is non-stop fun, and you shouldn't miss it.

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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