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Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Fringe Festival

Fringe Review: Five More Minutes

By Brian Carroll on June 17, 2018

Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Fringe Festival

Five More Minutes
by Riley Hardwick, Alex Lamarre & Lucas Colwell
Dip In The Lake

23 min / Comedy, Drama / PG

Which of these recurring school nightmares do you have?

You’re sitting in an examination hall. The proctor says you can begin. You look down at the exam booklet and realize… that you’re stark naked.

You’re waiting to enter the examination hall. Some of your classmates are cramming from the textbook. You realize that you haven’t cracked the textbook open for the entire semester.

The exam hall proctor tells everyone to open their exam booklets. You open yours and the pages are… blank!

Five More Minutes is a high school senior’s nightmare. Nick, Sam and Tom have been school buddies since kindergarten. They have finished all their final year exams but one, which they will write in 24 hours. Their futures are at stake.

Sam needs good grades to get into University of Toronto, his (and his parents’) goal. Nick needs good enough grades to get into the Humanities program at some university. Tom isn’t sure what he wants, but graduation would give him the opportunity to take a year off and travel the world.

The title Five More Minutes is based on the Frank Sinatra recording of Five Minutes More. In keeping with the title, the three students keep finding excuses to procrastinate for just a few more minutes before their last night of cramming.

Current or former students will recognize the various ways that these three procrastinate, for example, shooting the bull and lying about their prowess with girls.

To reveal more would risk spoilers in this short script.

Writers/performers Riley Hardwick, Alex Lamarre and Lucas Caldwell have structured the play around the inherent instability of the three-hander. Alliances form between pairs of characters, only to fall apart as new information is revealed.

Imminent graduation raises tensions among the three friends who have to confront the physical and geographical separation that yawns before them. Their words and actions dance around that tension without acknowledging how they actually feel about each other. They try to avoid the issue, but their emotions are bubbling over.

If you’re a teenager in your last year of high school, this show’s for you.

Five More Minutes allows students to externalize the anxieties raised by the end of high school.

But it won’t end the nightmares.


Five More Minutes is playing at La Nouvelle Scène Studio A (333 King Edward Ave) until Saturday 23, 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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