Sunday, November 27, 2022

Fringe Review: Stage Fright

Who: Stolen Theatre Collective
What: Stage Fright
Length: 55 minutes
Where: Mills’ Hardware (95 King Street East)
When: July 21-31 as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival
Tickets: $12 + $1.75 fee at https://boxoffice.hftco.ca/event/866:612/ 

In Stage Fright, Danielle Wilson is having a very bad day. She starts with waking up late, locking herself out of her home and car, and being late for a presentation. Wilson is a very physical actor- a characteristic that repeats itself throughout the performance- and setting up this additional context before uttering a word to the audience is fantastically well done.

At her presentation, the audience learns of Wilson’s stage fright- and the depths she’ll go to overcome it. While the premise on its face is cute, the story doesn’t evolve beyond this point. Wilson channels her inner self, her mentor or her grandmother- but there’s no real character evolution that occurs over the course of the performance, and enlightenment doesn’t occur until almost the very end. Technological integration provides an interesting change to the narrative and is well-utilized to add a dream-like, whimsical quality to the show.

While Wilson is clearly a talented performer with a lot of energy, and her overall presentation (directed by Gyllian Raby) is engaging, the structure of this piece just never comes together. Without greater depth, this show would work much better as a short sketch, rather than a full production.

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