“Life is too short to be with shitty people”. This line was hit extremely hard during the production of Bitch. A cathartic purge based on a true story put on by Beer In A Glass Productions at the 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival. The first thing I thoroughly enjoyed about this production was its venue, St. Vladimir’s Theatre, and its highly pumped air conditioning which was just lovely. The play however, although it had its moments, was not an overall success in my opinion.
Written by and starring Erin Thompson who plays Angela, someone we assume to be a true supportive friend, and Tracey Beltrano who plays Lucy, a girl who has recently broken up with her boyfriend and has gone to her friend Angela for guidance and comfort.
The chemistry of these two women being friends in real life definitely shines through on stage, with a set that looks like it could be a college boy’s dorm room covered in beer cans and food wrappings. The flow of the play moves well considering we jump around on a time line that moves quite quickly. However, it makes a few awkward jumps which leave you playing a bit of catch up. It goes through stories of past breakups, bad dates, wrong choices and extremely graphically detailed sex stories animated enthusiastically by Beltrano.
Many of these scenes ring true including witnessing bursts of happy-drunk-crying-sleep-happy-drunk-crying-sleep, which Beltrano portrays hysterically. There is one particular mini scene where she tells some of her sex stories, which I mentioned earlier, extremely quickly one after another and the audience loved every moment of it. Her physical comedy and hand gestures were the cherry on top of her verbal delivery.
The ending has a bit of a twist, which I had not predicted and left the quick semi-light subject matter on a very questionable and upsettingly strong note. I found myself leaving the venue very unsure of how I felt about the 30 minutes I had just witnessed. I noticed many of the men leaving the theatre commenting on how much they enjoyed it and the women I overheard talked about how they felt very unsettled about the play. I found this very interesting.
I don’t recommend those going through any relationship woes to attend this play, I know the words “there are plenty of fish in the sea” can rub a recently broken up girl the wrong way and this play throws many similar ideas at you fairly aggressively. I thought the show was well written and generally well performed. However, I found it to have a rather stark message and to be honest, it wasn’t really my cup of tea.
Photo featuring Erin Thompson and Tracey Beltrano.
July 07 11:00 PM
July 08 04:45 PM
July 10 11:15 PM
July 11 12:00 PM
July 12 08:00 PM
July 14 02:45 PM
- Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only. Late comers will not be permitted.
- Advance tickets are $11 ($9 + $2 service charge) are available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062 ext 1, or in person during the festival at the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W).
- Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows