Reviewed by Julia Bueneman
by Damien Bailey & Pamela Feghali
Lost Kid Theatre
55 min / Drama, Dark Comedy / PG
The show opens on a set of chalk drawings on the floor and a large, wooden stump covered in garbage (albeit, a beautiful stump). There are two characters that pace around the set and then house lights go down – and the pacing continues.
Through incredibly complicated and wholly unnatural dialogue – while occasionally poetic, mostly just wordy – the two begin their journey into flashbacks, current day conversations and sensitive stories. The premise surrounds a young man, Wesley (Sam Dietrich), trying to reunite with his father, while Maya (Lydia Riding) – who initially was just an angry passerby annoyed at Wesley for interrupting her walk – is an angry, crass and cruel voice to him, with occasional empathy.
The flashback characters were well portrayed, the scene set well (despite the still largely unused and unexplained set – which, other than the stump, never gets explained or used) and the stories heavy. While the approximate time and place and place in history were relatively clear, the flashbacks were extremely racist and offensive – which, due to the time period, was understandably accurate to some extent – but it was too much. I’m all for expression but watching two young white actors use some racist material made me feel uneasy.
To use one word to describe this show, I would say volatile. The characters both have what seems like random outbursts regularly – either directed towards the other, a flashback character or themselves – and in the end, it really seemed like a even the screaming parts of the dialogue were too wordy and unbelievable.
Tooth:Hurty is playing at Studio Léonard-Beaulne until Sunday June 18, 2017. Tickets cost $12 online and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the show schedule and box office info. Apt613 is trying to see every show on opening weekend of the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.