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Photo: Jorjas Photography

Fringe Review: The Knitting Pilgrim

By Colin Noden on June 16, 2019

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The Knitting Pilgrim
by Kirk Dunn and Claire Ross Dunn
90min/ PG / Solo / Textile Installation

It starts with a guy on a stool, inviting you to come up and take a ball of yarn and needles from his basket. It ends with you wondering how to nominate him as a United Nations Peace Ambassador. Seriously. It’s as timely as your morning newsfeed.

That’s only one remarkable thing that happens during this 90-minute chat. If you have at least one creative bone in your body, you will be relieved to hear someone finally give voice to the struggles within you.

You’ll learn the power of having someone who believes in you. And why it’s important to have someone there to kick your butt when you’re stuck. OK maybe you know that already, but it is inspiring to hear someone tell their story about it.

You’ll also hear the secret to completing a monumental work. You will be in the presence of that achievement before you leave. Believe me, it’s inspiring. People were wiping away tears.

Believe me, it’s inspiring. People were wiping away tears.

Photo: Colin Noden/Apt613

And it all starts with a guy on a stool holding a piece of yarn. Trying to teach how to turn a loop in your hand into a creation.
I’ve talked about “your” potential experiences so far, because I noticed another remarkable thing in the play. The subject stayed the same as the play went along. The story of Kirk and his knitting and a project that went out of control. But somehow, the point of every story became about me.

Kirk taps into our secret struggles as he shares his own. So, when the play comes to an end and we witness the triumph in front of us, we share the thrill of it. We’ve been fellow travellers on that road. The Knitting Pilgrim changes our life journey, from one of hope to one of expectation.

There were many other inspiring elements woven (knitted?) into this well written and presented play. I’m not sure which you will find more important or useful. But just as pieces of a tapestry, they’re all necessary to the production.


The Knitting Pilgrim by Kirk Dunn is playing at Knox Presbyterian Church (120 Lisgar St) until Saturday June 22, 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.


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