Get Well Soon
by Hamda Elmi
23min / PG / Drama
It’s an unspoken, but easily noticed, fact that the Ottawa Fringe scene is very white. And while this certainly isn’t by design, it’s a reality that the Fringe Open Doors Mentorship is trying to address.
The Mentorship is a pilot program designed to help artists that self-identify as one of Ottawa Fringe’s four priority groups: people of colour; artists who are deaf or have a disability; immigrants or refugees; and Indigenous artists. The program’s goal is to have Fringe Festival stages better reflect our country and is partly responsible for bringing this new work to the stage.
It’s worth squeezing this short show into your schedule.
The lights of this Get Well Soon come up on a university group therapy session where one, then two, finally three young women make their way in. With their group therapist running late, the three quietly begin to share the inner turmoil that’s brought them here. These anecdotes are presented entirely via video with recorded voice-over. The video is beautifully done, but the audio has background noise, and leaves nothing for actors to do on stage.
Each monologue is somewhat timid, but reflects real issues that young people silently struggle with everyday. By the end of the third speech I was ready to see what this was building to, only to have the credits roll and the house lights come up. Clocking in at 23 minutes the play is the shortest I’ve ever seen, but it left me wanting more. There is clearly more potential here and it’s worth squeezing this short show into your schedule. I look forward to seeing more Open Door shows in the future, and hope to see all these actors again next year.
Get Well Soon by Hamda Elmi is playing at LabO (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.