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Photo Credit: Melody Maloney

Fringe Review: Unmatched

By Barbara Popel on June 18, 2022

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Unmatched
Created by Eve Beauchamp and Caity Smyck
Produced by Levity Theatre Co. (Ottawa)
45m | 14+ | Comedy
Content warnings: Sexual Content, Mature Language, Flashing, Audience Participation

Sitting with the audience on opening night, almost all of whom were young women, I noticed they all seemed grossed out. Unmatched speaks to every person who has struggled at getting out of a bad date.

The audience seemed to love everything the two performers did. No matter what Caity Smyck said, they were totally in her corner, even entering into a dialogue with Smyck during the Fringe show. My favourite exchange happened when various women in the audience shouted out advice to Caity as she composed a text message to her very late first date. Advice on how to start a message—should she avoid “Hi” and go with “Hey”? Should it be “Hey!” or “Hey…”? Which emojis should she use? Very amusing stuff!

I was impressed with the second performer’s acting chops. (There was no program, but Fringe confirmed it was Eve Beauchamp). They did a good job playing an assortment of bad first dates—all the way from a 14-year old boy to a possibly homicidal doctor.

The only thing that threw me was the way that Smyck played hetero, lesbian and (I think) gay characters, each of whom endured disastrous first dates. Other actors have successfully switched genders and sexual identities in plays but it’s tricky to do effectively, particularly if you are switching every few minutes as Smyck did. It wasn’t always clear to me when one vignette ended and another began, with Smyck in a new role.

Unmatched is rated as 14+. There’s one scene in a public washroom that I think pushes it into an “M” classification.

To end opening night, the audience gave the two performers a standing ovation. As their target audience of young and young-ish folks who are serial daters finds them, I predict this will be a regular occurrence.


Unmatched by Eve Beauchamp and Caity Smyck is playing at the Arts Court Theatre (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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