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Above the Empress of China

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Winnipeg theatrical heavyweights Ross McMillan and Sharon Bajer have written a weird little script about a woman named Gail (Casey Shapira) who lures her amnesiac fiancé (Delf Gravert) back into her life by renting an apartment above a Chinese restaurant. Their reunion is complicated by the fact that Gail keeps spacing out with episodes of déjà vu and visions of her mother’s ghost.

It could be an inventive, fringey show, especially with the pickles and the twist at the end, but the slightly stilted performances by the two leads don’t quite get us there. Themes of recapturing the past and earning second chances get lost in characters that don’t ring true.

Almost, but not quite.

— Mary Agnes Welch

From the official Fringe Festival guide:

This classic Manitoba script graced the 1994 Fringe, and as that year’s program said, this play is “a searing tale of love, forgetfulness, and ancestor-worship. More twists than a large intestine, and just as useful.”

Directed by Eileen Longfield (montana, So Far From Eden, Blade).

Don’t wait another 16 years to see this one.

RECOMMENDED: Mature Audience

60 min

Playhouse Studio (Venue 3), to Saturday

Tickets: $8
Discount Tickets: $5 for Matinees
Under 13 not admitted.

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