Fringe review: Magic Mystery Detour

MAGICAL MYSTERY DETOUR by Gemma Wilcox. Tarragon Solo.

MAGICAL MYSTERY DETOUR by Gemma Wilcox. Tarragon Solo Room. July 7 at 10 pm, July 9 at 4:30 pm, July 10 at 9:15 pm, July 12 at 3 pm, July 13 at 6:15 pm, July 14 at 5:15 pm, July 15 at 6:15 pm, July 16 at 7:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

Extraordinary solo artist Gemma Wilcox returns to the Toronto Fringe with her show about a woman named Sandra who embarks on an adventure attempting to quell some pretty life-altering heartbreak: her mother’s death and a sudden split with her long-term boyfriend, Charlie.

Wilcox plays more than 20 characters – including a range of people, animals, inanimate objects and a literal fly on the wall – all interwoven and delivered in rapid-fire progression without ever breaking the flow.

She is a fascinating performer who doesn’t utilize any costumes or props to create this magic, instead relying on her body, vocal talents and facial expressions. In telling this beautifully written story, Wilcox explores physically and emotionally uncomfortable situations, but tempers it with humour.

She also works well-curated music into many scenes, such as songs about driving that play over the radio during a road trip. And as the title suggests, some fab Beatles tunes also make it onto the soundtrack, with one of them swelling along with your heart to create the closing sequence.

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