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Image courtesy of Ottawa Fringe Festival

Fringe Review: Blanket Fort

By Barbara Popel on June 15, 2018

Blanket Fort
by Leaping Mammal Collective

46 min / Comedy, Drama / Mature

The Fringe is often a place where young writers and actors try out their new material and their acting skills. Leaping Mammal Collective of Ottawa is doing so; they are premiering a 46-minute version of a 20-minute playlet they performed last October.

Blanket Fort is a series of very short vignettes about three unlikeable young people who are roommates, and their conflicts with each other and with their peculiar landlord. The company’s website lists three actors—Andy Kellie as Mark (he’s the angry alcoholic restaurant worker), Carley Richards as Xan (she’s the flakey baker—sorry for the pun!—who fashions fish-shaped bread), and Jon Dickey as Haydn (he’s the irresponsible unemployed doofus). There’s no mention of who plays the kooky landlord. The director is Ian McMullen. Maybe he’s the landlord, too.

The play was created collectively by the cast—and it shows. There’s clumsy exposition in the first few scenes to introduce the characters. There are a lot of pretentious questions—Have you found meaning?”, “Are we bad people?”—followed by vacuous non sequiturs. For instance, Xan opines that, “Some look for meaning their entire lives and don’t find it. And it’s sad. But it’s also ludicrous! Do you want to watch Birdman?”

Most of this is delivered at full volume. There’s a lot of yelling in this play. A lot.

There’s a poster in their apartment that reads, “Shit Doesn’t Have To Make Sense”. For me, that seems to sum up this play.

Some audience members laughed at the antics of these shallow young folks. I didn’t.

Note that the program and website say that the play is in the Arts Court Library. It was recently relocated to the Courtroom next to the Library, due to construction in the Library.


Blanket Fort by Leaping Mammal Collective is being performed in Arts Court (2 Daly Ave) until Sunday June 24, 2018. Tickets Cost $12. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.


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