Fringe review: Awkward Hug

AWKWARD HUG by Cory Thibert (Cory Thibert). At Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. July 10 at 1 pm, July 12 at.


AWKWARD HUG by Cory Thibert (Cory Thibert). At Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. July 10 at 1 pm, July 12 at 3:30 pm, July 13 at 7:30 pm, July 14 at 3:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

Writer/performer Cory Thiberts autobiographical solo show lacks sharp focus but charms with its sincerity.

He begins the summer after he graduated high school. The Ottawa Affordable Housing Unit informs his family they need to move: a hassle for most, but Thibert’s parents are disabled, compounding the stress. The move is a catalyst for his reflections on how their cerebral palsy affects him (his father noisily leaves every school performance Cory’s in early to catch the pre-arranged disability transportation), and his resulting ambivalence about his identity and autonomy.

The script centers around his relationship with his parents, but sometimes wanders into tangential anecdotes, like his struggle with his girlfriend Zoe about whether they should buy a puppy, distracting from the main theme.

His rhythm and tone are lively, but he jumps around the stage and gestures in ways that can be disorienting. His mime is hit or miss (he uses no props), at times clearly conveying the world of his story, while other moments feel less tangible.

Yet despite these minor flaws, Thibert is a compelling performer whose emotions are palpable, revealing the poignant core of his story.

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