Not sure if it was intentional, but, boy was it hot and humid inside the Freestanding Room. However, that established the most idyllic beach setting for Mouth to Mouth, a new black comedy written by Alexandria Haber and Ned Cox, and directed by Alain Goulem.
The audience enters to sit around in a circle facing three cubes in the middle; a perfect setup. With no fixed centre stage, the actors spiral around the space, providing each onlooker with a fair chance to see in them in action throughout the show; Goulem here receives credit for the genius blocking.
The whirlwinding movement is most fitting as the entire plot of Mouth to Mouth consists of downwards spiral story of sorts. Bill Rowat, Mary Harvey, and Jane Wheeler truly deliver a beyond astounding performance. I found myself face palming countless times at the character of Adrien, played by Rowat, who impeccably portrays the role of the well-intentioned but clueless husband. Mary Harvey plays Elsa, and she was equally phenomenal as the oddly-friendly newcomer. I think anyone in the room who has even been cheated on would have recognized the suspiciously nice character of Elsa, which Harvey brilliantly executes from beginning to end. Last but not least, Jane Wheeler absolutely nailed the role of the annoyed wife, Iris. At times I found it more entertaining to watch her reactions to the scene than the action itself; I’ve never seen anyone master the death stare like Wheeler. The actors’ chemistry was contagious, and remained consistent and palpable until the end.
There were moments of humour, suspense, concern – a consummate combination for theatregoers. As the plot began to heat up (akin to the room itself), I felt like I was a beach goer watching Elsa, Iris, and Adrien’s soap opera extravaganza. As a witness to all the drama, I found myself wholly engaged in the turmoil – taking sides, making predictions, and considering all perspectives. My personal favourite moment was when the transition music changed from major to minor and that’s when I knew for a fact that something was going on. It was exciting and intriguing, and you’d think something as simple and commonplace as relationship issues wouldn’t be as engulfing, but Mouth to Mouth swims the extra mile.
Haber and Cox’s writing is exceptional; Goulem’s directing is detailed and thoughtful; Rowat, Harvey, and Wheeler are undeniably talented performers. Between “making something out of nothing” and “making nothing out of something”, Mouth 2 Mouth has taken a simple space and transformed it into a must-see performance at this year’s Fringe.
Review by Montreal Theatre Hub Fringe Contributor Patricia Fitzgibbon
Mouth 2 Mouth Productions presents “Mouth to Mouth”
When: June 9 – 18, 2017
Where: Espace Freestanding Room, 4324 Saint-Laurent #300
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: www.montrealfringe.ca | 514.849.FEST (3378)
Official Media Partner of the 2017 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
Latest posts by Patricia Fitzgibbon (see all)
- Fringe Review: It’s All About Perspective in “Mouth to Mouth” - June 14, 2017
- Fringe Review: Teachers are finally human beings in “This Is Not She” - June 14, 2017
- Fringe Review – “Poet vs Pageant”: And The Winner Is Telia Nevile! - June 13, 2017