One Good Marriage (Theatre by the River) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

One Good Marriage is a two-person show told by a newlywed couple, Stewart and Steph.  The play consists of them retelling the story of how after their wedding, everyone who attended died.

There is a chance for an interesting plot but I found the play moves slowly. The plot ends up feeling mundane, telling the story of a librarian (who doesn’t like to read) and an English teacher. They are ordinary, average people with a mediocre relationship.
The play is set up as a dialogue between the two as they tell the audience all about what happened. At first, it’s quite quirky and funny, then jokes were repeated which started to get a little annoying for me.  With quick, short sentences that are overly witty, the pace gets frustrating for me because there’s no variation throughout the 60 minute play.

There were fleeting moments of sadness and panic but they felt so forced I did not feel any emotional connection to the characters or their sad situation. Ultimately the piece just didn’t work for me.  In an effort to create a dark comedy One Good Marriage feels stuck with repetitive one-dimensional humour and pitiful sadness, without any deep feelings.

The lighting was well suited for the play. There were repeated moments where Stewart was trying to calm Steph down and as she closed her eyes and entered a calm place, so did the light, it was very appropriate.

I laughed a few times and so did the rest of the people at the show, but I can’t say it was funny, not according to myself or the others in the audience I spoke to.

While it seemed intersting at first, One Good Marriage fell flat for me over the course that it took.



One Good Marriage is playing at Factory Theatre Mainspace (125 Bathurst St.)

Show times:

Wed, July 13 9:15 PM
Fri, July 15 5:45 PM
Sat, July 16 11:30 PM

All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only).
Advance tickets are $11, available online at, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street