Fringe Review: Compulsive hoarding made fun and thought-provoking in “b3: Syl-lo-go-ma-ni-e/a”

REVIEW FROM OUR SPECIAL COVERAGE OF THE 2017 MONTREAL FRINGE FESTIVAL

(Image courtesy of Possiblement Theatre)

There’s something talented going on when I put a clown show near the top of my ‘To See’ list. Right from the first few seconds that boKa (Kathleen Aubert) and Mazy (Simon Fleury) took the stage at the Fringe-for-all for the two-minute excerpt of their upcoming bilingual, physical theatre piece b3: Syl-lo-go-ma-ni-e/a, my eyes widened and the grinning started.

Sometimes the Fringe-for-all offers excerpts that are, misleadingly, the best thing a show has to offer, or worse, the only good two-minutes of the whole piece. This is certainly not the case with these two grounded and talented performers. While chatting up the show to others, it appears I’m apparently late to the party about this wonderful company, Possiblement Théâtre.

boKa loves her stuffed animals, haphazardly spread around her half of the space she shares with Mazy, along with clothes, ribbons, and various other ‘important’ things. Mazy, in his half of the space, lines up prized comic books with T-square precision. Their day begins – a day in the life of boKa and Mazy: they wake up, get dressed, exercise, and have breakfast. But oh, with what fun and physical creativity they approach these otherwise mundane tasks!

It’s now clean-up time, and that’s when the meat of the matter starts; chaos versus order. Mazy methodically packs away his comic books with care, then sits down and gingerly reads his valued treasure. boKa fiddles around, cajoles audience members into folding her laundry, and shuffles a couple of things around here and there… but her area is nowhere near tidy. Why can’t she just start playing anyway, boKa wonders?

They argue and just don’t understand each other. Mazy tries everything to get boKa to clean up. They switch sides, causing further frustration and obvious anxiety. And then honest, brave, magical compassion happens. One at a time, the red noses come off and the writers speak to us from the heart about the impetus for the show. Educational and touching, we learn the stages of hoarding, various reasons for hoarding, how one creates one’s own logic in the disarray around hoarding. We get to peek through a keyhole into what it’s like to be a hoarder, what it’s like to live with a hoarder that you love.

A kickass rock soundtrack adds to this beautifully crafted poignant piece about acceptance. Don’t miss it.

Review by Montreal Theatre Hub Fringe Contributor Janis Kirshner

Possiblement Théâtre presents “b3: Syl-lo-go-ma-ni-e/a”

When: June 9 – 18, 2017
Where: Salle Jean-Claude-Germain du Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, 3900 Saint-Denis
Admission: $10
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: www.montrealfringe.ca | 514.849.FEST (3378)


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Janis Kirshner

2017 Fringe Reviewer at Montreal Theatre Hub
The wearer of many hats, Janis is a respected theatre publicist. She was also co-founder of TITTERS (a female sketch comedy duo) and has co-written and performed (with Laura Mitchell) numerous hit shows at a number of Fringe Festivals including Montreal, Halifax and Seattle, as well as the Vancouver Int’l Comedy Festival. Janis spent years on the radio as a traffic reporter, entertainment reviewer and host of open-line talk shows, often covering topics she knew nothing about. She has been attending the Montreal Fringe Festival since its first year (she didn’t perform in it until the second year, because she didn’t think it would stick…) She continues to act when she gets the chance.
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