Review by Èva Morin
60m | Dramedy | Mature
I fully expected to be emotionally and psychologically challenged during my viewing of Botched. The play tackles the topic of abortion, which isn’t the easiest subject to turn into a dramedy, and the children’s music softly playing in the Studio Léonard-Beaulne left little to the imagination.
Loosely inspired by playwright Colleen Osborn’s upbringing in a pro-life household, Botched explores the two different but intertwined narratives of “Julie” and “Botchedbaby34” that deal with the complexities of abortion. Avoiding a distinctive stance on the issue, Botched doesn’t answer any questions surrounding the morality, or amorality, of abortion. Instead, the play offers a multitude of perspectives, opinions, and realities that circle the issue.
I will be the first to admit that I had trouble following Botched‘s first few scenes, as little context was provided to the audience. However, the storyline is pieced together quickly and keeps its momentum all the way to the (fantastic) ending.
The play had its lighter and even funny moments despite the heavy subject matter, but the short monologues performed by Alex Vincent in the role of Julie were, in my opinion, the standouts of the piece and definitely made me tear up a few times. Botched‘s three actresses — Vincent, Caroline Millen, and Olivia Lloyd — all gave stellar performances, especially as they were each required to embody multiple personalities within the play.
At Friday’s premiere of Botched, it wasn’t a surprise that the audience was solely composed of women. But despite the female-centric nature of the play — and the fact men are barely mentioned, since they’re outside the characters’ realities — I’d still encourage men to give Botched a chance.
Don’t expect to leave the studio feeling deflated and crushed by the play’s heavy themes. Botched ties up the complexities explored throughout the piece in such a poignant manner that it left me wanting more. Here’s hoping for a sequel.
Botched by Colleen Osborn is playing at Studio Léonard-Beaulne (135 Seraphin-Marion, University of Ottawa) on Saturday June 22nd at 6:00pm; Sunday June 23rd at 1:30pm; Monday June 24th at 7:00pm, Wednesday June 26th at 7:00pm; and Thursday June 27th at 8:30pm. Tickets are $10.