Skip To Content

Fringe Review: MAL

By Helen Lam on June 17, 2018

Image courtesy of the Ottawa Fringe Festival

by Rachelle Elie
Crowning Monkey

60 min / Clown, Stand-Up Comedy / PG

MAL is a clown show for adults. Susan wants to help the audience navigate the circus of life. She also does her best to entertain, educate and commiserate with the audience on the current state of love.

Susan’s humour is ribald and nostalgic. She is half the aging hippie from the commune and half the insane neighbour that chats your ear off every time you walk past her porch. According to Susan, the world is becoming more sick, and its up to ordinary folk to heal it. How we do that is… good feels? Despite her observations on life, Susan is an entertainer, not a philosopher.

The most interesting part of Susan (and later her boyfriend Joe) is the sparks of weary anger that jump out once they get to talking on a subject for a while. But clowns are still clowns, in that they need to be be silly and playful above all. So MAL won’t be to everyone’s taste, but there’s enough energy to carry the audience for the full hour.

There is audience participation throughout the show. In fact there are parts of the show which depend on it. So if you are shy but still want to see the production, sitting in the back rows should keep you safe.

MAL by Rachelle Elie is playing at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Ave) until Saturday June 23, 2018. Tickets cost $12. Visit for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at