Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – Mentor me Through This Wonderland
Review by Joshua James Collis – Showbill.ca Staff Writer
September 1, 2017
Art imitates life, but life itself isn’t necessarily something to invest yourself in for a night at the theatre. While Mentor me Through This Wonderland offers a cast bursting with quirky characters in a unique setting, the rupturing dam of characters may inevitably sink this project.
There are too many characters in Wonderland, and thus it’s difficult to get invested in their struggles. Over a dozen characters fight, quirk, and misbehave through ninety minutes of the protagonist reacting to her new surroundings. Janet gets a new job at the royal Museum of Ontario, and it’s up to her to make sense of the poor behaviour exhibited by the denizens of the security department.
Therein lies the fundamental flaw of Wonderland: Janet as a character simply reacts to her surroundings. She takes charge of the dysfunctional security staff because the play’s plot requires her to. There’s no character moment for her taking charge, she just does because she’s the main character.
Wonderland is well cast and acted with honesty. The stage direction makes smart use of The Roxy Theatre’s space. The lead is a strong woman asserting herself over a group of mostly ill-behaved men, but we also see her fetching coffee for a male superior. The messages are mixed. Mentor me Through This Wonderland is sticking too hard to it’s real life source. A revamped production with fewer and more impactful characters would be worth seeing.
Don’t mentor yourself through this wonderland.
Created by Janet Banks and Lorne Hiro
Victoria Fringe Festival
Venue 7 (The Roxy Theatre)
- Sept 1 @ 9:30pm
- Sept 2 @ 5:45pm