TO Fringe Review: One Good Marriage

Toronto – Steph (Mel Marginet) and Stewart (Matthew TenBruggencate) are a recently married couple. They dated, they got married, they went on their honeymoon, and when they came back, they found out that everyone who came to their wedding reception was dead.

Oddly enough, this is actually a very funny show.

As you can imagine, Steph and Stewart are not particularly happy people. They tell the story of their relationship, their engagement, and wedding while dancing around what happened at the reception, occasionally pausing when Steph gets too worked up. To prevent her from having an anxiety attack, Stewart has her close her eyes and think of household objects (“think of a pencil. A blue pencil. Think of a clothespin, but the wooden kind, not the plastic ones,” etc.). Eventually they reveal what happened, how they were totally out of touch when the story hit the news, and missed all the funerals by the time they got back from the honeymoon.

Their pain and guilt is heartbreaking, but somehow Marginet and especially TenBruggencate manage to keep it light throughout most of the show. They’re funny and charming, really a couple you’d be happy to know, even as they talk about how they represent death. It doesn’t sound funny, but somehow they manage it. The dialogue is very good, the plot really does a nice job answering the question of what it would be like if all your friends and family suddenly died at the same time, the simple staging works well, but the interplay between the two actors is what really makes it work. Very nice piece from Winnipeg’s Theatre by the River.

One Good Marriage plays at Venue 3. Check your Fringe program or the online play listings for showtimes.

Posted on by Brian in Fringe, Reviews, Theatre

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