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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Cruising in September

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This gentle, one-act comedy written by Denis Thornton offers a boatload of zany characters you swear you’ve met at some point in your life. The 60-minute (15 less than billed) local production is decidedly no-frills, but still has heart and it’s likely you’ll laugh — or even cry.

Cruise virgin Harry (Chris Reid) and perky wife Rachel (Evelyn Carruthers) first meet gun-totin’ redneck Tex (Sam Kowaluk) and his Annie Oakley-styled spouse Miss Elly (Marcia Barbarie) aboard ship. Elderly Aunt Violet (Betty Winterhalt) is also trying to come to grips with her mentally declining sister Mildred (Evelyn Darrach), inviting niece Jo-Ann (Jazmyn Shell) along to help keep an eye on things.

Corny jokes, naughty bits and double-entendres flow as easily as waves in the deep blue sea. But when the increasingly befuddled Mildred “dies,” only to embark on her own ocean of childhood memories, the show becomes a poignant heart-stopper. This idea could easily have gone much further before Thornton’s insightful play finally pulled anchor for the night.

— Holly Harris

From the Fringe program:

Director: Brett Buckingham/Denis Thornton

Cast: Brett Buckingham, Marcia Barbarie, Jayme Burgoyne,Evelyn Carruthers,Evelyn Darrach,Sam Kowaluk, Chris Reid,Jazmyn Shell, Betty Winterhalt,

Not another "doomed ship" tale. Rather, it's a cruise comedy where the audience looks in on a motley group of passengers, observing their interactions and reactions. As in all classic comedies, this tightly timed play delivers the goods through human foibles, mistaken identity, soulful music, pathos and sharp plot twists.

"Thornton's plays never bore you" - Patron, 2013 Fringe

Audience Classification: General

Length: 75 mins.

Tickets: $10

Warnings: Mild Language, Gunshots

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