by Even Gilchrist
50 min / Drama / PG
Written by Even Gilchrist and performed by Gilchrist and Cullen Peterson, Re:Construct is a new work that is a layered, moving conversation between a young trans man and a his idealized self. Staged as two bakers trying to decorate a cake they can present to the world, Gilchrist and Petersen recall events, people, and emotions of their youth.
It is so rare to see a new work with such polish. Every element of the show felt deliberate and intentional with no fat left to trim. The stage is set with much more than an average Fringe show, but every element of the design is purposeful. Clothing racks with hanging drawings ring two drafting tables and a cake in the centre. Using wheeled tables is a clever choice which allows more mobility as the actors circle the cake, drawing and erasing, trying to achieve perfection without knowing what that looks like. Gilchrist and Petersen are fantastic with their synchronized movements and lines, dressed in matching costumes that convey both purpose and style.
With trans narratives becoming slightly more common, certain storylines and tropes are often seen. Some of these elements are present in Re:Construct, but the focus on the journey of growing and choosing which elements of yourself to keep and which to discard is both unique and widely relatable.
There is so much more to be said but this is a show that needs to be experienced, possibly more than once. In short Re:Construct is everything I look for in a Fringe play. It was young, layered, and challenging in every element but always accessible.
Re:Construct by Even Gilchrist is playing in the ODD Box at Arts Court (2 Daly Ave) until Sunday June 24, 2018. Tickets cost $12. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.