Caterina Incisa and Laura Buchanan collaborate to create one of the best shows on offer at this year’s Fringe, 0 Days Without Crying. It is the second show to enter the festival circuit from Montreal-based theatre group Bangers and Mash, an all female company started by Caterina in 2015. In this one woman show, she pontificates about the absurdities of life and learning to navigate the world as a fully independent adult. The script is well-written, the comedic forays are on point, but it is Caterina herself who truly entertains, and the audience hangs off every word.
The play revolves around the character of Jess; however, Caterina actually assumes several roles throughout the show, impersonating Jess’ friends and acquaintances as she stumbles through life. Simply by adjusting her posture or tone of voice, she slips effortlessly into a different role, often having conversations with herself, where she must convey two different characters simultaneously.
There is an honesty about the production that makes it really stand out, and which allows the audience to become so invested in the character of Jess. Through her ongoing stream-of-consciousness style narration, Jess takes spectators through the highs and lows of the life of a seemingly average woman. It is hilarious and heartbreaking at times, but above all it is up front and unafraid. Through Jess’s depiction of her body image issues, deepest fears and most elaborate fantasies, the production manages to achieve authenticity. By the time audience members are exiting the theatre, they feel that they have really gotten to know someone, a character that is relatable on all counts.
Jess embodies the universal voice of all women who are struggling to find acceptance from themselves as much as anyone else. But don’t think this play is just for women. It is relatable in a way that goes beyond gender, down to the deepest of human insecurities, and Jess brings them all to the surface. The play really reinforces the idea that everyone is just trying to keep their shit together, and there’s something really comforting in that message.
Not only does Caterina perform in the production, she is also the writer behind the masterfully constructed script. The woman is a force to be reckoned with. Her theatre company Bangers and Mash specializes in feminist comedy, and this show is certainly an excellent example of that. The dialogue is moving while also managing to be laugh-out-loud funny. It never sacrifices meaning for humour. Caterina has complete control throughout the play, and the mood can change on a dime.
This show is what Fringe is all about – providing a platform for talented artists to showcase their work. Caterina and Laura have produced a triumphant piece of theatre, a captivating character analysis that is as charming as it is poignant. The forty-five minutes flies by, leaving audience members longing for more. There is already a lot of buzz around this show, and tickets are selling fast. It’s a must-see of this year’s festival, and the city will surely be looking forward to seeing more from Bangers and Mash.
Review by Montreal Theatre Hub Fringe Contributor Anya Leibovitch
Allie Weigh Productions presents “Divided Heart”
When: June 8 – 18, 2017
Where: Black Theatre Workshop Studio, 3680 Jeanne-Mance
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: www.montrealfringe.ca | 514.849.FEST (3378)
Official Media Partner of the 2017 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival