All posts by Sarah Siddiqui

Closet Confessions: The Secrets of a Hot Mess (Hot Mess Productions) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Picture of Patrick Cadgen in Closet Confessions: The Secrets of a Hot MessPart solo show, part stand-up special, Patrick Cadegan presents Closet Confessions: The Secrets of a Hot Mess, now playing at the Toronto Fringe. Cadegan tells us about his early life in Cape Breton, coming to terms with his sexuality as a gay man, moving to Toronto, struggling with depression, moving back home, and his eventual return to the city. Breaking up his personal material were short stand-up routines and original character monologues. Continue reading Closet Confessions: The Secrets of a Hot Mess (Hot Mess Productions) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Sarah and Lucy (Runaway Hotel Kollective) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Nicole Fairbairn and Irena Huljak in Sarah and Lucy

Runaway Hotel Kollective presents Sarah and Lucy now playing at the Toronto Fringe. Sarah and Lucy is based on Trailer Park Boys, narrowing its focus on the two titular characters. As a card-carrying fan of the series, I was excited to see this show. In the same vein as the creators of this piece, I agree that Sarah and Lucy are (Sarah) and were (Lucy) criminally underused characters, often being used to move the story along rather than being properly developed.

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PRTNR (David Told Me To Do This Productions) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Natalie Kulesza and David Rowan in PRTNR

PRTNR, written and performed by David Rowan and Natalie Kulesza playing at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival, is a sketch comedy show exploring the possible definitions of partnership.

At the end of a long day of seeing Fringe shows, this one was a joy to watch. The concept is simple, and Rowan and Kulesza (directed by Sam Roulston) rose to the occasion to develop sketches that really are “over-the-top” funny, all while maintaining sincerity and loyalty to the theme.

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The Cockwhisperer — A Love Story (Colette Kendall) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Colette Kendall in The Cockwhisperer -- A Love Story

“Yes, this is a love story, and yes, I love the cock!” comedian Colette Kendall proclaims at the top of her show, The Cockwhisperer – A Love Story. Kendall’s storytelling-based show traces her journey through love, sex ed in the late 1970s, body- and self-image, systemic misogyny, and of course, the cock.

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The Two of Us (Red Drapes Productions) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Beatriz Yuste and in The Two of Us
The Two of Us, produced by Red Drapes Productions, was originally written by Croatian playwright Tena Stivicic and translated by members of the company. This Toronto Fringe production marks the North American premiere of the acclaimed play. The script is full of witty, sardonic one-liners and unique cultural allusions that speak to the strength of the script’s translation.

The story primarily revolves around the relationship between Anja and Lena, tracing their dynamic from a chance meeting at a nightclub, and following them over time as they become inseparable. Anja and Lena are both drifting through post-war life when they meet and find solace with each other while engaging in persistent substance use and navigating problematic love lives. As the two get closer, they realize that they are connected far more closely than they originally anticipated. In director Svjetlana Jaklenec’s words, the play is “…an ode to the resilience of those who go on” after unspeakable tragedy; namely the Yugoslav Wars.

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