The Emergency Monologues (Drinking Well) 2014 Toronto fringe Review

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In The Emergency Monologues, paramedic Morgan Jones Phillips tells stories which definitely bear no relationship whatsoever to any actual calls he may or may not have been sent to handle, so there. The fact that he knows them all off by heart is, clearly, neither here nor there. At his Toronto Fringe Festival show, you spins the wheel and you takes your chances: maybe he’ll tell you about Edna and her Poo, or the various sundry and delightful Smells he encounters in his work, or — you lucky dog, you– the Legend of Penis Guy.

And, remember, this is fiction. Definitely, 100% pure fiction. So don’t go thinking otherwise. Not even if he winks.

MJP is a fantastically engaging performer, with a gentle and unlikely sort of charisma that draws the audience right in. More importantly, this delicacy is disarming: you won’t expect him to get as gory or nasty as he does — but what were you expecting from a paramedic? You bought your ticket, you knew what you were getting into: now sit up, uncross your legs, and get ready to take your medicine.

The evening’s adventure is randomized, with a different show every night — and you’ll only get 3-4 spins of the wheel in an evening, so with over 30 stories to choose from, you’ll need to return an awful lot in order to hear them all. But, seriously, push him to tell you about Penis Guy; you won’t be disappointed.

As a caution, this show does have some retch-worthy moments. The stories are told entirely through spoken words without any sort of visual aids, but if you’re of a delicate constitution, save your $10 for a show less likely to cost you your lunch.

If your stomach can take it, though, a trip in the back of Morgan Jones Phillips’ ambulance is a ride well-taken.


The Emergency Monologues plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace.

July 05 at 04:00 PM
July 06 at 05:15 PM
July 08 at 04:30 PM
July 09 at 07:45 PM
July 11 at 02:15 PM
July 12 at 07:30 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.

Photograph of Morgan Jones Phillips by Michael Barker.