Ottawa Fringe gets a little taste of Daniel MacIvor with a production of In On It.
Should you see it?
It’s this weird thing. Plays at Ottawa Fringe lean largely towards original material created by the performers. This makes the text fair play in reviewing. But when you come across a play by renowned Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor, one that’s been performed repeatedly and is decidedly not a show in flux, is it still fair game then?
In this case, it has to be. Because whatever this was, I was not in on it.
The play seemed to consist of a couple of story threads: a homosexual couple, their relationship, and a play they’re writing, then a guy named Ray (who seems to be a character in that play), his unnamed yet apparently terminal medical condition, and his interactions with people after he learns of it.
Just when it seems where a point to one storyline or the other seems to be emerging — the illness Ray is faced with is life?, one half of the homosexual lovers might be using this play to work through his grief? — the play then swerves or moves on without ratification. Maybe it just wasn’t well-executed?
I just didn’t get it. And so when I got home, I looked it up, hoping maybe I could figure out what I was missing. What I found was a review of this play from a 2012 production. Not only did that reviewer not get it -or like it- either, but the play he described seemed to barely even describe the play I saw. Including many more fragmented story lines.
And a child.
And, I get it even less now.
So to finish I’ll throw in a quick note to say that Matt Minter’s acting was engaging, and the other actors were… fine.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think? Did I clearly miss something? Was this a great work of existentialism and I was out to lunch? Join the discussion in the comments below.