Starring Fringe veterans Martin Dockery and Vanessa Quesnelle, The Pit is a dreamlike look at relationships, responsibilities, and finding happiness in a world that is incredibly enticing and terrifying all at once.
Should you see it?
The Pit is one of the most entertaining and thoughtful shows at the Ottawa Fringe, and if you haven’t seen it already then you need to go out and do it right now. Seriously, I’ll wait until you get back.
Written by one of its stars, Martin Dockery, The Pit features a couple waking up in bed one morning. The Man (Dockery) refuses to get up while The Woman (Vanessa Quesnelle) can’t even decide which outfit to wear to work. Things get moving though when The Man begins fantasizing about Miss Swiss (Quesnelle again) to the chagrin of The Woman, and vice-versa when Mr. Flex-it (also Dockery) pops in to check on The Woman’s progress getting ready for work. Soon, the couple must run from “The Pit,” a hole that’s growing all the time and swallowing anything in its path. Over the course of the show, the characters consider their dimming romance, the memory of their first meeting, their desire of others, and how the ever-changing world around them can be so damned intimidating.
Right off the bat, the chemistry between Dockery and Quesnelle is electric regardless of which role they’re in at the time. In my review of Cathedral City, I mentioned I was never truly engrossed by each different character played by Kurt Fitzpatrick. Well, that’s not the case here as each of the characters Quesnelle and Dockery play are truly distinct and draw you in the moment they pop up on stage. You relate to them and their fears so easily that you simply have to know what will happen next, and if they’ll manage to overcome their problems with each other and with “The Pit.” It was a joy to watch them perform, and I would recommend this show to anyone for them alone. It also features some great lighting that makes a barren stage seem like a such a vibrant world, though that’s also due to the performers.
I could praise this play all day long, so I’ll just tell you all to get out and see it immediately. Unless you too have been swallowed by… The Pit!
These are just my thoughts. If you’ve already seen The Pit, what did you think of it? Leave a comment below to let me know.
Photos in this article provided by Kate Raudenbush via The Ottawa Fringe.