TO Fringe Review: When Harry Met Harry

Toronto – If you’ve spent much time around the Fringe so far, you may have seen When Harry Met Harry performer Allan Girod handing out flyers or seeing other shows. I think I’ve seen him every day so far. A 6’9 Australian, he’s hard to miss. His pitch when he’s flyering is pretty good, I saw him get a positive response from a lot of people, and quite a few people at his sold-out show on Tuesday were there because he’d personally handed them a flyer.

Girod’s personable nature when handing out flyers is in stark contrast to his regimented, socially awkward character Harry. Harry lives for his job as a print specialist, goes through his checklist precisely during every phone call, won’t answer the phone before 9:00, and won’t speak for a second past noon. He favourite possession is his clock, and he times everything precisely.

Unfortunately for Harry, there’s been some complaints about his conduct, and he has to go to a “Personal Development Workshop,” which he dreads so much he tries to step in front of a car to get out of it. The workshop is where Girod really shines, playing both the over-the-top facilitator who urges everyone to repeat the mantra “conflict good, avoidance bad” and Harry, who’s called on as a volunteer for every exercise and can’t refuse because his boss is watching. It’s an exagerrated version of the sort of workshop many of us office and cubicle dwellers have been forced to attend at one time or another, and at this particular showing the audience really responded to it.

It’s a pretty good show, even though Harry’s story feels a bit unresolved at the end.

When Harry Met Harry plays at Venue 2. Check your Fringe program or the online play listings for showtimes.

Posted on by Brian in Fringe, Reviews, Theatre