Gemma Wilcox is back in Ottawa for the first time in way too many years with her one woman show Magical Mystery Detour. Should you see it?
Sandra, recently single, receives a letter from her recently passed mother’s estate informing her of a road trip she is to make in honour of her mother. It’s a trip that doesn’t really fit into Sandra’s life, but one she feels obligated to take, regardless of all the stresses that are holding her captive, and thus begins the Magical Mystery Detour.
Gemma Wilcox is absolutely brilliant in this piece of theatre. She embodies a multitude of characters that range anywhere from humans, to animals, to nature and even inanimate objects. No matter who or what Wilcox becomes she is completely entrancing on stage as she takes the audience on what is truly a magical hour of theatre.
Wilcox’s transition between our main characters, Sandra, her dog Zola, and her 1978 Scottish car are impeccably flawless. This show is so perfectly scripted and engaging that throughout its entirety I kept forgetting to take notes. I was just enraptured at the presence of Wilcox as she floated across the stage like a goddess. She owned every square inch of that stage and the audience was kept in rapt attention from beginning to end.
Wilcox is a brilliant playwright and character actor. There is so much love and energy she puts into her performance, that her minimalistic stage of nothing still feels full and everything appears to be stunningly real. Wilcox also brilliantly uses music as a plot device throughout the show without ever letting it become a crutch.
The show is also quite funny, yet always down to earth and touchingly dramatic as we grow with Sandra and realize that it’s never about the destination, but the magical journey that gets us there, and this show is absolute magic.
If Gemma Wilcox is not your Ottawa Fringe 2015 crush my question to you is why the hell not?
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think. What did you think of all of Gemma Wilcox’s characters? What was your favourite part of her magical journey? Join the discussion and tell me what you think in the comments below!