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Photo: Victor Trejo.

Fringe Review: Forbidden City!

By Apartment613 on June 17, 2022

Forbidden City!
Created by Martin Dockery
Produced by Martin Dockery (New York, USA)
60m | PG | Comedy

Review by Julia Bueneman

Martin Dockery brings beautiful chaos to the Ottawa Fringe with Forbidden City!

In his signature storytelling style, Dockery takes us on a wild journey through the high highs and low lows of his travels to China. Forever personable, he weaves tangents into introductions and back again, bringing the audience on a trip and making them feel all the things along the way. The initial impression is humble and slightly self-deprecating, a captivating but slower start to a show that eventually feels like it’s barreling down the freeway (with brakes that may or may not work). Throughout the play, he touches on various anecdotes, from wholesome encounters to delightfully relatable frustrations, and pulls the audience in with varying levels of intensity as he catapults you into the next absurd chapter. His ability to shift from standup to storytelling seamlessly while also merging the two is captivating and quick, his wit is smart, and his near-manic energy contagious and exciting to watch.

A wildly engaging performer, Dockery has the incredible ability to navigate many moods in minutes and then have the audience cracking up to the same joke they’ve been laughing at the whole show. Forbidden City! is everything from surprising chaos to heartwarming, and Dockery pulls it all together in a truly incredible way. If you can manage to get tickets, this is a ride you don’t want to miss!


Forbidden City! by Martin Dockery is playing at Studio 1201 (60 Waller Street) until June 25, 2022. Tickets are $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 https://apt613.ca/category/festival/fringe/.