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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Customer Relations

Fallis and Ball’s Productions / Winnipeg, MB

Posted: 07/17/2009 11:59 AM | Comments: 0

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In his debut, local playwright Rory Fallis weaves a tapestry of profanity (think Kevin Smith, not David Mamet) that only half-masks the fact that this comedy about call-centre shenanigans is about as interesting as a dial tone. True, there are a few zingers that get laughs for sheer audacity, but mostly it’s just puerile — the work of someone who’s mistaken crudeness for cleverness.

Fallis does capture the ennui, flirting and bad behaviour that fester in go-nowhere, give-nothing jobs, but this awkwardly staged production doesn’t take the premise beyond that. It’s calculated to appeal to the 20-something set — and judging from the audience’s howls of laughter, it does — but it’s all swagger, no heart.

The performances by the five-person local cast are mostly better than the material deserves — foul-mouthed Lothario Chris, as portrayed by Matthew Stefanson, somehow makes it semi-believable that his co-workers would tolerate his revolting antics, and supervisor Steve (Shawn Kowalke) hits the right note of buddy-buddy smarm, but Melanie Dahling’s constant dazed smile as a trampy office slacker makes her appear more addled than sexy.

— Jill Wilson
 

From the official Fringe program:

A foul-mouthed love story set amidst the workplace hazards of a call centre.

Unrequited love, sex-obsessed co-workers, alcohol consumption and a tenacious supervisor unite, resulting in an interesting last day for at least one of five customer relations experts.

www.myspace.com/fallisandballs

Warnings: Subject Matter, Language, Graphic discussions of sexuality
RECOMMENDED: Mature Audience

75 min.

Venue#10 Planetarium Auditorium 190 Rupert Ave (theatre on lower level)

Tickets: $7
Discount Tickets: $6 for Fringe Performers
Under 16 not admitted.

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