>>>Fringe Review: Life Records

LIFE RECORDS Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace See show info.


Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace

See show info here

Rating: NNNN

Rhiannon Archer is a natural stand-up comic and writer, and she makes a remarkably smooth transition to theatre artist in Life Records, a funny and heartfelt look at the soundtrack to certain episodes in her life.

Beginning with a jaw-dropping car accident that nearly killed her and ending with another momentous event (which I won’t spoil here), Archer calmly and confidently takes us through memories that are inextricably linked with songs. Two versions of Dolly Parton’s Jolene, for instance, are connected to stories about the effects of infidelity. And an annoying Stompin’ Tom Connors song is forever linked in her mind with her mom’s Canada Day celebrations on her two-levelled deck.

Each story is grounded with vivid, believable details, and director Lara Johnson helps provide a sense of changing moods, time and geography in the intimate Passe Muraille Backspace. There’s an especially good use of a little corner.

The script could be finessed and tightened, and sometimes Archer’s rhythms are off – which could be opening night jitters. But she recovers beautifully, and her impressions of other characters – her mom’s friends, various wrong boyfriends – are executed with efficiency, grace and an intuitive understanding of the human comedy.

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