1/4 Life Crisis (8 Monkeys Productions)- 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

by Lucy Allen

As a girl in her mid-twenties, I can relate to many of the stories told in 1/4 Life Crisis, currently playing at the Fringe.  Most people in my age group seem to have gone through it, myself included.  The recent phenomena has inspired musicals, movies, novels and now, a one person show.

The show is an autobiographic look at the tumultuous time between graduating university and entering “the real world”.  We journey with Alison through her multiple failed relationships, unemployment and of course, the search for something meaningful in life.

Alison Lynne Ward is endearing and charming in her performance and you can’t help but root for her as she stumbles her way through her mid-twenties.  Her references to Back to the Future and her tales of her cat were among a couple of the many the highlights of the show.

It’s hard to recommend a show, though, for anyone in their mid-twenties at the moment.  There’s nothing particularily new being said in the script.  I think that the major problem for me was that I’ve not only already been through the crisis myself, but have heard the exact same panic attacks from friends, sometimes word for word.  I almost wish that I had brought someone older or younger with me to get another opinion since it seems like a lot of people were openly enjoying the show.

There are funny moments in the show, I just simply fully engage myself in something that I was already living out in the real world.  That’s not to say that it’s not possible.  I’ve seen a few shows now where a familiar premise mixed with an interesting concept provides a great show.

1/4 Life Crisis is well performed and well received, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who’s currently going through a crisis themselves or who are trying to get someone through it.  If you’re up for an amusing and quirky performance, though, check it out.


-1/4 Life Crisis: Venue 5 Annex Theatre 

60 min.
Sun, July 11 3:30 PM
– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only),  Online at www.fringetoronto.com, by Phone at 416-966-1062, in person (June 30 – July 11 only) at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 ($10+$1 convenience fee), and $5 for FringeKids (no convenience fee for kids tickets).
– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows