Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – My Stroke of Luck
Review by Kelly J Clark – Showbill.ca Managing Editor
August 31, 2017
When Dr. Diane Barnes has a sudden catastrophic aneurysm that cripples her mentally and physically, how can she rise to the challenge of not only healing herself, but also of raising her two adopted children all the while protecting them from a world of gangs, drugs, and violence that threatens to consume them?
There’s a lot going on in My Stroke of Luck. It is a complex affair to say the least, but it handles its subject matter with a deft grace. Barnes’ narrative bounds effortlessly back and forth along her life, detailing and expounding previous scenes with a hilarious and heart wrenching conversational style. This play feels less like a play, and more like an overdue story that your mother had been waiting for the right time to tell you. Or perhaps it’s that old story you’ve heard a thousand times, but is the one you never mind hearing again.
Regardless, Barnes’ motherly charms are enthralling. Her strength as a performer doesn’t lie in her acting or mannerisms, but in both the power and the vulnerability she simultaneously exposes to the audience. She’s not afraid to be seen in a less than favorable light, and because of that she absolutely shines.
A warning: if you were ever a son, especially a rebellious one, you will probably have to call your mother after seeing this show.
Diane Barnes’ story is one of incredible luck, incredible misfortune, and how tenacious love can be in the face of adversity. It’s the show you should be seeing right now.
Created by Diane Barnes
Victoria Fringe Festival
Venue 8 (St. Andrew Kirk Hall)
- Sept 2 @ 12:45pm
- Sept 3 @ 7:45pm