Reviews - Fringe 2016

Fringe 2016 Review: boKa

By Susan J. Creer
Published July 19, 2016

Well, Ms. Aubert is extremely brave! There was no preshow music to start, just interacting with the audience as they arrived. Ms. Aubert had her clown nose on, plastered with a bandaid, which got me thinking, what had happened to our heroine before we met her.

Boka, as Aubert came to be known, was born into a somewhat hostile world. She is then faced with some challenges, including sex/sexe, nom/name and so on. Watching how she learns to dress herself is creative and hilarious.

The set is very busy. There is a clothing rack upstage centre with some jackets which are attached with strings. There is a small box stage right with what looks like toys and then we find out that is her teddy bear blanket. There is also a mean face on the wall stage left that keeps beeping at her.

Boka came out of the womb angry, as she willingly admitted. Her discovery of her world was somewhat chaotic. Boka is not always fully verbal: you would not expect a newborn to be which made her funny voices very intriguing and her stares quite frightening. Boka had two audience members dancing at one point.

One of my favourite scenes was she tried to decide between 'M' or 'F' on the registration form placed upstage.

Boka convinced a man from the audience to 'walk like a man' onstage so she could decide how to imitate him if she was going to choose 'M' but then she very childishly tells him to 'go away' when she's finished with him.

There was some despondency later in the show when she started trashing some set pieces. However, there is a lot of humour and hope throughout the play, which is what carried the audience along and our audience was very appreciative.

When our heroine chooses to be 'Boka' it is marvelous. Boka is a well-conceived play.

S. J. Creer. B.A. Susan has been volunteering since she was a teen. She is a community advocate with a focus on disability and poverty concerns. Her background includes professional speaking, theatre (professional and community), writing (op/ed, blogging, Linkedin), teaching, event planning.


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