Little Miss Understood (Sandcastle Theatre) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Little Miss Understood

Little Miss Understood from Sandcastle Theatre is playing at St Vlad’s Theatre as part of Toronto Fringe 2014. I love St Vlad’s, it’s always really cold and I’m usually really warm so for me it’s a gift in the middle of summer. For normal people there are blankets.

Little Miss Understood is a glimpse into the relationship between a mother and her 14 year-old daughter. It’s written by Stephanie Fowler (the mother) and performed by Stephanie and her daughter (Beatrice Fowler Campbell). The show is delightful; the performers work well together and are comfortable on the stage.

The piece is a series of interactions between Stephanie and Beatrice and monologues by each of them. It’s quite funny in a gentle way. When I wasn’t smiling in appreciation of Stephanie’s writing I was cringing in embarrassment for my 14 year old self (and everyone else who’s ever been a 14 year-old girl), restraining myself from yelling “Stephanie! don’t engage!” and remembering when my daughter was 14. You can laugh or you can cry but you have to get through it. Drinking helps.

Stephanie does a funny piece in the style of the voice over on a nature program about the teenager species. She also does a great play by play of a fight between Beatrice and her brother over the TV remote. I was thanking my lucky stars that my brother hadn’t thought of the ultimate weapon that Beatrice’s brother used to win.

I loved the way Beatrice figured that she was adopted because there were no pictures of her in hospital when she was born. The logic of 14 year olds is beyond understanding. Her explanation of why there is no door on her bedroom is priceless.

You don’t have to be the parent of a 14 year old to enjoy the show. The appeal is universal. Parents of teens will nod in recognition, teens will identify with Beatrice and think Stephanie is crazy, grandparents will tut tut and think that things weren’t like that in their day.

It really is a lovely show. I keep remembering parts of it as I write this and chuckle to myself. I think the thing I appreciated the most is that Stephanie doesn’t vilify anyone and she doesn’t claim to have discovered the right way to handle things. she offers us a glimpse into life with a teen. and it’s lovely.

Little Miss Understood is playing at St. Vlad’s Theatre (620 Spadina Ave.)

Show times
July 06 at 11:00 PM
July 07 at 04:45 PM
July 09 at 04:15 PM
July 10 at 12:00 PM
July 11 at 08:00 PM
July 13 at 02:45 PM

Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West).
Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website for details.

LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.

Photo of Beatrice Fowler Campbell and Stephanie Fowler by G. Campbell Photography

One thought on “Little Miss Understood (Sandcastle Theatre) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review”

  1. Saw the first show. I found a lot of genuineness and warmth in this, despite the fact the mum and daughter were mostly arguing. That came from Stephanie and Bea being real-life mother and daughter. Kudos to mounting this show now, while Bea is still a teen. That took bravery and it paid off.
    Yeh, there were a few miscues, but they’ll get ironed out.

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