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Fringe Review: Victory for the Recycled Virgin

By David Currie on June 23, 2016

60 minutes | Solo, Drama | Mature

If you like oddballs, you will love Victory for the Recycled Virgin. I don’t mean that pejoratively, Houston Robertson is a charming storyteller who has had a very unusual life to tell us about. This is not so much a show as a woman’s life on display. The show will give you something to feel uncomfortable about. I presume for everybody that something will be different. It’s almost impossible to talk about the individual movements of Houston’s story without destroying the experience of watching this show.

In the beginning, Houston is suffering, relying on her husband to keep her happy. He does not, his neglect breaks her, his selfishness crushes her soul, and then in her forties Houston Robertson sets herself free and starts learning who it is she wants to be.

One of the things she wants to be is a clown, another is a standup comedian, and, oh, Houston Robertson wants to have a lot of sex. The pacing of this show is very slow but it’s engrossing. Like real life, I wished certain parts would pass more quickly but as they don’t I found I was learning more and more about Houston and about myself through her story. There is not a lot of narrative flow in Victory for the Recycled Virgin. Instead, Houston chooses to honour every part of her story the way it unfolded for her.

This is not a glamorous story and Houston does present some of her behaviours as dubious like when she has to manipulate her elderly mother into giving her the money for a car. But the honesty is refreshing. Victory for the Recycled Virgin, if you are willing to give it a chance, will make you laugh, make you deeply uncomfortable and make you question your own life and decisions.

Victory for the Recycled Virgin, La Nouvelle Scène, 333 King Edward, Thursday, June 23, 10 p.m. & Saturday, June 25, 7 p.m.

Tickets are $12.