Yvette

This was a show that put me in mind, oddly enough, of two previous ones that I’d seen. (Another one of the things that I love about Fringe — when seeing so many shows, in such a compressed space, patterns become increasingly more evident.) Thematically, this could be the sister show to Entwined — it, too, is about the hilarious horror of unrequited love — here, pushed to a ludicrous extreme.

Formally, it put me in mind of Digging a Hole, and that’s one that I’d like to examine a bit more closely. Both shows share absurd premises, although Yvette is admittedly much more literal. But in the latter case, I was laughing and engaged pretty much throughout. So — what’s the difference?

A lot of it comes down to character, I think — I immediately had a clear sense of who these characters were, what they wanted, and of the extreme lengths they were prepared to go to to achieve those goals. It amounts to more than just a physical or vocal intensity on the part of the performers — it’s about specificity in terms of their desires, even if we don’t understand those desires, or even what they amount to. And that’s largely a feat of the writer. (Although I would especially like to single out what I found to be the note-perfect performance of the pair of conniving art dealers.)

Let me put it this way — this is the show I saw that made me want to write. I have a similarly-themed piece that’s been turning at the back of my head, but I haven’t been able to get it off the ground. Seeing this was like flint to metal — enough so that I seriously considered taking the rest of the day off, to go home and work. So this wasn’t just an enjoyable show for me — it was inspiring, in the classical sense.

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