WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ****
Few shows at the fringe earn a standing ovation from the entire crowd. This is one of them.The star of this one-woman show is a charismatic, likeable Bridge Jones type who’s quick with a quip.Brit Sarah Quick is already a well-known fringe performer (Thanks for the Mammaries, The Men Commandments), but this is her first solo show. It’s also the first drama she’s ever written.Call it beginner’s luck, then, but this emotionally charged play manages to convincingly switch moods without ever seeming melodramatic or forced. Joanna, the protagonist, is struggling with the commitment she’s made to her fiancé. But her story is not as simple as it first seems. There’s a surprising plot twist that had most of the audience reaching for their Kleenex.
How many times have we said ‘if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry’?How many times has it been as true as in this show? Veteran Fringers will recognize Sarah Quick from sell-out performances for Thanks for the Mammaries, and The Men Commandments in years gone by. This year she shifts gears to bring us a show as devastating as it is devastatingly funny. At the beginning of this show, Johanna is more than just a bit reminiscent of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw – looking for love in all the wrong places and grabbing a handful of fun wherever she can find it as a substitute. Johanna joins the great besotted when she meets a man who is, appropriately enough, pretty much ‘sotted’ in his own right when he first professes love. The course of true love runs smoothly enough, leading to a wedding complete with hangers-on who are all too eager to be invited once they hear there’s to be a hot buffet.Marriage, however, brings challenges in thoroughly uncharted waters. Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, and true intimacy and commitment makes demands on Johanna that none of us would want to be asked to fulfill. The choices and decisions in this show are a testament to our human capacity for love and compassion. Take a tissue and someone you love.
CBC RADIO EDMONTON (TRANSCRIPT)
“I think the best description for what I saw happening in the audience would be that this play absolutely shattered the people. I haven’t actually heard audible sobs echoing through a theatre before, the audience was in tears.“Basically what happens is that Sarah Quick takes her audience on an emotional journey. There’s lots of laughter, lots of devastating honesty and it’s very bawdy in parts as well, but vulnerable at the same time. She opens herself up to the audience, allows us in which is wonderful to look at.“Right off the top I have to say that I can’t go into details [about the plot] because to do so would really ruin the play for anybody going to see it. There are a lot of twists and turns within the script.“Quick combines humour and despair. She will plunge you into absolute tragedy and despair and then fire off a screamingly funny one liner joke the next minute.“Her presentation is very direct, almost detached in a way, even clinical in delivery which make the words and the situations and the story even more tragic because we have a very strong woman up on stage.“[It is] Very much a rollercoaster, up and down. Quick has written a script that is moving, devastating, honest and it’s just an absolutely beautifully constructed piece of writing.“This is a play which really should be on the must see list.”
THE WINNIPEG SUN
Fringe favourite Sara Quick is back, doing what she does best – regaling audiences with monologues on the love life of a working-class British girl and making everyone in the room feel as if she is in conversation with them alone.Quick’s likable stage presence gets the audience on her side and keeps them laughing – and in this case, almost crying – along with her.This is Quick’s first foray into drama and she wisely uses her comedic sensibilities to gently ease us into the sadder stuff. And it works.Granted, listening to someone ramble about their relationship isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. In the hands of anyone else, a monologue covering all the romantic bases – hooking up with the pizza delivery guy, through the honeymoon stage and on to the wrenching consequences – could have been self-serving or sappy. Quick makes it personable.
UMFM RADIO, CANADA
Outstanding performances like this are what keep me coming to see Fringe theatre. A one-actor show by Sarah Quick (Thanks for the Mammaries, Sex and Sensibility), this is far and away the best show I have seen her perform. We follow the story of the courtship and marriage of Joanna and discover the real meaning of marriage vows and what commitment entails. The script is exceptional as is the performance. It has more depth than any of the previous shows I have seen her in. Correctly advertised as a drama, there is much laughter and comedy in this show. This is one of the best shows I have seen at this year’s Fringe and was sold out. Definitely a show to put on your list to go and see.
New Winnipeg . com 41/2 stars
I went to this play madly anticipating a bit of a giggle-fest; for lack of a better moniker, a ‘girls’ show. In the first 15 minutes, I was convinced that the jokes would all be conventional, some-what self-deprecating, and mainstream, but by the end, my eyes were filled with genuine tears. And all of the middle of the road jokes from the beginning of the play really made sense. It is not often that a show can start off convincing the audience that it will be a simple, basic comedy and turn into a deep, moving story – filled with hopes, dreams, life, death, and beauty. A superbly written show, with a very talented actress who understands the art of surprise.
CBC WINNIPEG *****
Sarah Quick enters the stage and proclaims that she likes Mondays, because it’s a new start. She then proceeds on a riotous romp, reminiscent of AB FAB, through her views on being single and how she hates being around couples. She wonders if she’ll ever meet Mr. Right as her “love handles turn to arm rests”. Eventually she does, and their relationship is wonderful, until he becomes ill. The tears of laughter turn to tears of compassion as we follow through this difficult time in her life. Ms. Quick has done a masterful job of taking the audience through the full gamut of emotions. She should consider handing out tissues instead of programs. Bravo!
What first seems to be a twenty-something ode to cold feet takes an unexpected and well-crafted twist into deeper territory. It is a rare writer who has the bravery to delve into matters of the heart without hiding behind irony, and luckily, writer/performer Sarah Quick is one of that breed. Perfect as an everywoman sideswiped by fate, she’ll put a lump in your throat that won’t interfere with your giggle reflex.