Manitoba·★★★★★ Review

Fragments

Gorgeous solo production proves you don't need bells and whistles for a successful Fringe show

Gorgeous solo production proves you don't need bells and whistles for a successful Fringe show

(Brazen Bird Co.)

Rating: ★★★★★ Review

Company: Brazen Bird Co.

Genre: Play - Dramedy

Venue: 5 - Son of Warehouse

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A few years ago, Al Rae and Catherine Wreford were unknown to one another. Since then, Al has transitioned and is now known as Lara, Catherine has had a brain cancer diagnosis thrust upon her, and these two disparate personalities have bonded in their shared experience facing an altered reality that neither could have adequately prepared for.

Several times during Rae's performance in Fragments I found myself wishing that I could press pause, to savour the beauty of the words and the striking reality they convey, and then rewind to hear them again.

This solo performance proves that bells and whistles aren't a prerequisite for making an impression in theatre. Rae employs a simple stage setup, with only a few props to accentuate her words. And really, one believes that she could have appeared on an empty stage wearing a trash bag and the effect would have been the same.

Because it is the language, and not the action, that propels this piece - compelling, evocative language that spins a powerful tale of an unexpected friendship, love, history, connection, disease and death.

This solo performance proves that bells and whistles aren't a prerequisite for making an impression in theatre.- Sarah Broadfoot

Here, cancer cells are "blood-drunk monsters" and a tumour is "a thief that has burgled her brain." Rae's words are both gut-wrenching and beautiful. This is theatre at its finest, and it is not to be missed.

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