Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Fringe Review: Making It Up (One Playwright to Another)

Who: One Playwright Productions
What: Making It Up (One Playwright to Another)
Length: 30 minutes
Where: Bring Your Own Virtual Venue
When: July 21-31 as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival
Tickets: $5 – $20 + fees at https://boxoffice.hftco.ca/event/866:661/

The roads we walk throughout our lives don’t always go in a straight line. There are twists and turns, dead-ends and detours, and at least a few important crossroads. In Making It Up, Norm Reynolds details the strange route his life took to get him where he is today. In particular, he emphasises his multiple encounters with playwright Edward Albee, and the impact that Albee had on his life as a result.

The show is presented as an edited, pre-recorded video, with clips of Reynolds edited together into a continuous monologue. Varied backgrounds and camera angles help to keep things interesting, along with the variety of transitions and visual effects. Reynolds uses a smooth, practised manner of delivery, with every line coming across clearly and precisely.

There are other characters in the story, but all of them are played by Reynolds himself using different outfits and mannerisms. His depiction of Albee is especially distinct; even when Reynolds is really just talking to himself, it genuinely feels like a conversation between two people. Overall, it feels like a mixture of a one-man show, a documentary, a memoir and an autobiography, combining positive aspects of each one into something unique.

Over the course of half an hour, we see Reynolds find initial success, descend into self-doubt, and then ultimately make his way back to success again. We learn that it’s incredibly difficult to predict where your life will end up: things that seem important at the time can turn out to be utterly insignificant, while the things that mattered most in the end can be easily overlooked at first glance. Will watching this show be an important milestone in your life? I can’t say for sure one way or the other, but I can assure you that it’s worth seeing either way.

Arthur Bullock
Arthur Bullock
Arthur Bullock is a graduate of McMaster University, Mohawk College and Algonquin College. He's spent nearly all his life in Hamilton, and has been reviewing plays at the Fringe since 2015. He has a passion for writing of all kinds, and loves to combine that with a longtime interest in local theatre.

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