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Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Fringe Festival

Fringe Review: The Last President of Canada

By Helen Lam on June 15, 2019

The Last President of Canada
by Doug Rutherford
50 min / 14+ / Solo / Drama

Paul Chartier has been waiting a lifetime—and then some—to announce his plans to make Canada a better place. He believes his plans will do what no government can. Then a mysterious voice, neither kind nor cruel, grants Paul his greatest wish: an audience for his speech.

As the thread of Paul life unwinds, his life and times all unspool in a myriad of failed ventures. He is fuelled by grievances and a sense of injustice that he directs at the powers that be. We know from the show’s premise that Paul will attempt to set off a bomb in the House of Commons. But it’s still left for the audience to decide what the man’s true motives are. You could easily watch this more than once and come to different conclusion each time about whether Paul means what he says.

You could easily watch this more than once and come to different conclusion… an absorbing one man show.

This wretchedly charismatic but unreliable narrator trusts the audience to fill in the story behind the story, and this makes for an absorbing one man show. The multimedia experience is minimalist but effective. The audience only sees the bare minimum of surroundings, but that is just right for where Paul is now. Here, Paul is free to rant and rage, and it’s up to you to decide whether he has a case for becoming the Last President of Canada. See this play and decide for yourself whether he ended up in heaven or hell.


The Last President of Canada by Doug Rutherford is playing at ODD Box (2 Daly Ave) 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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