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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Office Hours

Phiin Alley Productions Winnipeg, MB

Posted: 07/19/2009 1:28 PM | Comments: 0

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You’ve heard of kitchen-sink drama? Norm Foster’s Office Hours is watercooler drama, and just as we don’t bring our personal problems to work, it doesn’t bring a lot of emotional baggage to its six linked tales, all set at the same time in different offices.

It’s a trifle of a play that requires a light touch, and at first, it appeared the local cast — Derek Zorniak, Christine Rigey, Paul Lindell, Phillipe Richer and Laura Perron — was going to weigh it down. The first couple of scenes were either hammy or leaden, and missed lines and long pauses abounded.

But eventually they found their feet, lending comic zest to Foster’s gentle barbs and semi-ridiculous situations. Perron perfectly inhabits the neon jogging suit of overbearing mother Rhonda, while Lindell evokes long-suffering, shuffling dads everywhere as her hen-pecked hubby.

While the play (which runs 15 minutes shorter than its posted 105-minute time) is quite sitcom-like in tone, it’s all in the delivery, and there are some great lines. "This is starting to sound a bit like nitpicking," says a wounded Mark (Zorniak) as his wife produces yet more photographic evidence of his infidelities. (He’s also swell as an extremely unsuitable jockey.)

More polish in the opening scenes would raise Office Hours right out of the daily grind.

— Jill Wilson

From the official Fringe Festival program:


It's Friday afternoon in the big city.
Six different offices.
Six different stories.
All unfolding at the same time.
What's their connection?
The figure skater…?
The pushy salesman…?
A loincloth for Cupid…?
And what's up with the one-armed guy?
Just another day at the office.

Warnings: Subject Matter, Language,
RECOMMENDED: Mature Audience

105 min.

Venue#2 MTC Up the Alley 174 Market Ave (Entrance on John Hirsch Pl)

Tickets: $9
Discount Tickets: $6 for Matinees, Students, Seniors,
Under 12 not admitted.

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