Sunday, November 27, 2022

Fringe Review: Wet

Who: Let’s Get Wet Productions
What: Wet
Length: 45 minutes
Where: The Zoetic (526 Concession Street)
When: July 21-31 as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival
Tickets: $12 + $1.75 fee at https://boxoffice.hftco.ca/event/866:596/

Wet uses a four-handed storytelling format with choreographed movements, sound effects, and, you guessed it, water to illustrate director Celeste LaCroix’s investigation into what we think, say, and do while we bathe.

The text of the play, a collection of devised stories involving bathing, is engaging and irreverent. The movements of performers Julia Murphy, Carina Salajan, Zoe Marin, and Robert Follows give audience members lots of entertaining and sometimes Fosse-esque movements to watch while getting down to the nitty-gritty of scrub-a-dub-dubbing.

Frustrating shower-concurrent phone calls, insensitive relatives and roommates banging down the bathroom door, and complicated “shower thoughts” are all part of Wet’s investigation. Ambition, germaphobia, ennui, and coming-of-age are all topics of specific concern, each theme given the same tongue-in-cheek treatment.

For the most part, each storytelling section in Wet comes off well, but there were a couple bits that seemed overly long or even unnecessary. Many of these issues, though, will likely be smoothed out as the actors and crew grow more accustomed to the pacing and technical demands of the production.

I thought it might be difficult to pick up a central theme to Wet, given the broad nature of its topic, but I was wrong. Running through each different story were themes of the overly fast speed of the mechanics of life and the expectations that come with living. All the characters were crying out for a break. Even down to a 5-in-1 bodywash mentioned during one section, everyone and everything seems overworked and on the edge of falling apart. It is the shower and the tub that provide the characters’ much-needed respite.

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