Charles Adrian Gillot who plays Samantha Mann, a British agony aunt character, hit "her" stride in the last section of the performance when she started answering personal problems onstage from the audience written on little green squares (to encourage brevity). One could see she delighted in taking on "DYE-lemmas" – a word she relished and used often.
Although "Dear Samantha" started too many of her answers saying, "I really don’t know. I mean, how can one?" she’d then go on to be funny, clever — and sometimes surprisingly sincere, with short, helpful answers. Her comedy style? To say the proper thing — with not-so-sympathetic asides that ranged from witty to outrageous, to coolly dismissive. As an improv artist, her brain is quick and clever, and her speech slows down to allow the audience to really appreciate her talent.
The set-up and intro stories about her herself as Samantha Mann– a nervous, fluttery, spinster librarian who clearly hadn’t experienced much of life (and probably not sex!) —was overlong and delivered in a rushed way. It was clear Samantha was pretty much alone in the world, British family not close, and certainly not wanting to hear of anything as uncomfortable as anyone’s personal problems!
She commented at the end, still mostly in character, that it made people feel less "alone" in their lives, sharing problems in a place like an auditorium and how nice it was to share those precious minutes with each other, even though we were total strangers.
The show was done in drag but Charles Adrian Gillot made a believable woman, with a musical feminine voice, and even sang a sweet shy song for us in her perfect alto voice – an unexpected touching moment.
— Maureen Scurfield a.k.a. Miss Lonelyhearts, Winnipeg Free Press advice columnist
From the Fringe program:
With 20,000 views and rising on her YouTube advice channel, the very modern and multi-award-winning spinster librarian Ms Samantha Mann spills the beans on her life as a semi-professional advice-giver. Expect tips, reminiscences and a free consultation!
4 STARS – Fringe Guru "Snappy, witty, hilarious, lightly outrageous and always sharply-observed. Comedy at its best." - Buxton Fringe Review "Ms Samantha Mann is simply delightful." - Dispatches from the Victoria Fringe Nominated for Best Comedy Event at the 2018 Buxton Festival Fringe.
Show Length: 75 minutes
Suggested Audience: Parental Guidance
Warnings: Coarse Language, Sexual Content
190 Rupert Ave.
Seating Capacity: 230
Thu, Jul 18, 2019 – 12:00 PM
Sat, Jul 20, 2019 – 10:15 PM
Sun, Jul 21, 2019 – 6:15 PM
Mon, Jul 22, 2019 – 1:30 PM
Tue, Jul 23, 2019 – 3:15 PM
Thu, Jul 25, 2019 – 8:45 PM
Sat, Jul 27, 2019 – 5:15 PM
Sun, Jul 28, 2019 – 7:00 PM
Updated on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at 12:38 PM CDT: Adds review.