Playing at the Toronto Fringe this year, Botched (Cleen) is the story about a girl who survives almost being aborted and now, 18 years later, is on a quest to find her birth mother.
Given the heavy subject matter the show is definitely on the more intense side, but there is plenty of comic relief. The show starts off with the Botched Baby (Hannah Drew) talking to an egg who is supposed to be her twin brother. You see all those years ago her mother was pregnant with twins and when she had the abortion they only got her brother, Little Eggbert.
The other four members of the cast are dolls who are Botched Baby’s only friends. These dolls are hilarious. Their French, British and Southern accents are spot on and their conversations during their society tea parties are really insightful. I have to mention that Alex Vincent’s French accent had me in stitches, she’s just adorable.
Drew who plays both the Botched Baby and her Mother is just perfect in both roles. I love the range of emotion she displays from one instant to the next and there is never any confusion as to which character she is playing. Drew is an amazingly talented actress and I can’t wait to see more of her.
What I really liked about this show is that they chose to tackle heavy subject matter, but they did so respectfully. Both sides of the life debate were examined and the choice of ‘right or wrong’ was left up to the audience. I didn’t feel like I was being preached to or beat over the head, but merely presented with the facts of the story.
In the end, the message I got was that sometimes it’s not just about the gift of life, but the quality of that life as well. Or maybe that’s just the way I feel so that’s what I walked away with. I won’t give anything away, but listen closely for the last line in the play, it broke my heart.
If you’re looking for something moving and thought provoking this Fringe then check out this production.
- Botched plays at Venue 11, Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Ave.)
- Show times: July 05 07:45 PM, July 06 06:30 PM, July 07 10:15 PM, July 08 06:15 PM, July 10 01:30 PM, July 11 10:00 PM, July 13 07:00 PM, July 15 02:15 PM
- All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge)
- Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows
2 thoughts on “Botched (Cleen) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review”
I won free tickets to Botched with the Mooney on Theatre Contest. After seeing the play, I am glad I won! This play has lots of depth, symbolism, smart absurdist dialogue, and is well put together and well acted. I was entertained and engaged throughout even if I didn’t understand every reference that was thrown at me. A completely original absurdist look at the issue of abortion.
‘Botched’ by local playwright and visual artist Colleen Osborn was an incredibly well done piece about a tremendously volatile subject. The skill with which this issue was explored is reflected in the many layers of the subject matter skilfully woven by the playwright and brought to life by this amazing cast.
It is however the final line of this play that brings home such a huge impact. The compassion and non-judgement captured within the closing scene bears witness to the clever weaving of a thoughtful, talented writer.
It was a delight to experience this very moving and insightful play which delivered a positive message of forgiveness and healing. Well done!
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