Who: Jet-Set Productions
What: Me as Well as Also
Where: Staircase Cafe Theatre, Elaine Mae Theatre (27 Dundurn Street North)
When: July 18-28, various dates & times (as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival)
Right before Me as Well as Also began, the Director emerged to explain to the audience that the show is a work in progress. Anyone seeing the show needs to view it through this prism, and so this review is written from this perspective. Me as Well as Also can best be described as a three-hander, with two characters that have names and speak, and one who neither has a name nor speaks. Ash and Sprocket are two people with an unexplained relationship who spend the entire show in their pyjamas engaging in a serious of challenges and keeping score on a whiteboard in the corner.
There is no real story or plot, and the show ends with no resolution. What exists is a lot of great dialogue between characters and terrific chemistry between the two main performers, but nothing to stitch it together. At the end of the show, many audience members were confused due to the lack of explanation around the characters unclear and unexplained relationship. It was also unclear who the silent woman was that occasionally appears, why the characters were in their current situation or even why they were engaging in all of the challenges.
Fringe festivals are a wonderful thing. Many shows are workshopped in their early stages, and so a lot of works are able to grow and evolve throughout the festival (or subsequent festivals), often based on feedback received during the production. It will be great to see what the creators of Me as Well as Also do with these characters and dialogue to transform it into a cohesive piece.