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Theatre Reviews

Hol­ly Brinkman packs a lot of ele­ments into this high­ly enter­tain­ing show: her child­hood, her grand­par­ents’ expe­ri­ence dur­ing Ger­man occu­pa­tion in the sec­ond World War, rec­on­cil­ing soci­ety’s expec­ta­tions of her with her true self, and bur­lesque per­for­mance. Each ele­ment is skill­ful­ly done, but I am not sure that they inte­grate com­plete­ly.

In cre­at­ing a work of the­atre, one of the biggest chal­lenges lies in decid­ing which good parts to keep or expand, and which to dis­card or dimin­ish in ser­vice of the over­all effect. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly true for works based on actu­al events. I’d like to have known either more or less about her grand­par­ents and their post-war world. Adding more of this con­tent would have sat­is­fied my curios­i­ty, but it would have detract­ed from oth­er ele­ments with­in the 60-minute time con­straint. I am not sure that the work could sus­tain a longer run­ning time in the Fringe con­text, though. Reduc­ing the grand­par­ent ele­ment would give more time to explore the ele­ment of per­son­al growth, which is the core of this sto­ry, but the trans-gen­er­a­tional effect on Brinkman’s jour­ney could be lost.

I could see this pro­duc­tion as a main­stream the­atre pro­duc­tion, though, and I hope that hap­pens. Despite my reser­va­tions, I thor­ough­ly enjoyed each ele­ment, and the Mon­day night audi­ence went wild for it.