Reviews - Fringe 2016

Fringe 2016 Review: On a Limb and a Prayer

By Kenneth Kelbrook
Published July 18, 2016

This show is a comic gem. There was a small house of only about a dozen on opening night, but the show had us all warmly laughing. When the larger audiences, this show deserves, start to show up, it is bound to reach even higher levels of comic delight.

The comic interaction is between the male student (Vincent Zacharko), and his female stage manager (Amanda Piron), while they attempt to hold a dress rehearsal for a class presentation that will be the culmination of a second year University course.

Both characters communicate with several people on their cell phones, who constantly interrupt the rehearsal to great comic effect. The antics keep us laughing throughout.

The play deals with issues of art, versus cliché and sincerity, versus pretension. It touches on hero worship and the cliché that all artists are damaged people.

The play bogs down for about ten minutes while the two characters have a passive aggressive dispute over who is the more unhealthy of the two, but picks up by the end as several phone calls make it clear that lots of people, not only students and facility, but also the family and the famous intend to show up to see this art project.

The last line of the show is, "Merde." The French word for shit. It is how our Quebecois actors wish each other luck before going on stage. It is used in much the same way that us Anglais like to say, "Break a Leg." Somehow it also becomes a comment on the whole Canadian Arts Scene. I never laughed so hard.

Kenneth Kelbrook is a seasoned theatre director who has worked all across the nation. Shows in Hamilton include: Doctor Faustus in October of last year at the Pearl Company with Make Art Theatre, The Two Row Wampum performed at Pier Four Park, The Boiler Room Suite with Theatre Terra Nova and many, many years ago, I Ought to be in Pictures at Caesar's Dinner Theatre.


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