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Fringe Review: A Modest Attempt

By Amanda Dookie on June 15, 2019

A Modest Attempt
by Darcy Smith
60m / 14+ / Comedy

This solo performance by Darcy Smith starts by taking the audience down memory lane to the early days of the World Wide Web. As we know, the Internet has changed the way people communicate and has increased the volume of information that can be shared. Websites such as YouTube have allowed anyone to showcase their talents and for Darcy and many others, this has raised the bar.

His attempts are indeed “modest” at best.

By sharing his own personal journey as a theatre student and performer, Darcy explained how his desire to impress his audience has developed. Then, Darcy made attempts to wow the audience through a series of skits, magic tricks, audience interactions and singing. His attempts are indeed “modest” at best, and he reminds the audience of this throughout the partially improvised performance following each new attempt by showing a video on YouTube of people who have far exceeded his talents. It was pretty obvious that his intentions were to show how much better they were than him, but I feel that each of his attempts could have been made shorter and still get the message across. Nonetheless, Darcy’s bold attempt at humility deserves recognition.

Darcy also reminded me of how much social media can increase our desire for approval from others and how dangerous that can be. This was the strongest part of his performance because he demonstrated how easily one can feel a sense of failure when you compare yourself to others. What started out as a comedic talent show ended with a serious tone, but it helped to bring meaning to an otherwise banal set of attempts to impress the audience.


A Modest Attempt by Darcy Smith is playing at Studio 1201 (10 Daly Ave) until Sunday June 23, 2019. Tickets cost $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.


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