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Photo Credit: Patrick Gauthier

Fringe Review: @TheMayor

By Colin Noden on June 17, 2022

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@TheMayor
Created by Patrick Gauthier
Produced by Gruppo Rubato (Ottawa)
60m | 14+ | Satire
Content warnings: Mature Language, Smoking

Review #1: 😈😹💪

Review #2: What a romp! Satire as it should be. All fun and no snark. I’m glad someone found a way to squeeze some laughs out of the past few years.

I now feel the need to add an emoji to every review I write. Perhaps those little crying kittens, that seems happy in a way. And I’ve called my neighbor to see if she needs me to babysit her Labradoodle.

Sorry—inside joke from the play. @TheMayor was stuffed full of them. Inside jokes that is. One Labradoodle is quite enough.

For this play, it will help if you are at least passingly familiar with the soap opera dynamics of Ottawa’s City Council. But don’t worry if you aren’t. The physical comedy carries the plot. So, if you don’t get the bake sale joke, or just who the hapless counsellor with the swing vote could be, just relax and enjoy the show.

I attended the opening performance, and of course there were a few line stumbles, but they were saved by the waving arms and facial expressions.

This combination of specificity, speed, and physicality made me wonder how well @TheMayor would travel. By the end of the show, I began thinking that it could be adapted for other municipalities. Universal themes emerged: citizen welfare, grassroots support, deals with the devil, grand projects gone amuck, and nature throwing a wrench in the best-laid plans. The problem I have is with the cast—they are so good! How can you duplicate that energy and timing? Even the missteps added to the fun of the evening.

And lastly, I need to point out the play is also dominated by Twitter activity, so it would help to be familiar with how it works. But don’t worry, the cast’s miming and the light and sound effects will help. Though you might want to study up on the complicated politics of blocking someone on Twitter.


@TheMayor by Patrick Gauthier is playing at BYOV – Atelier (2 Daly Avenue) until June 26, 2022. 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 https://apt613.ca/category/festival/fringe/.

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