Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – In Waking Life
Review by Grace Eccleston – Showbill.ca Guest Writer
August 26, 2017
In Waking Life is an emotional roller coaster from it’s goofball beginning to its shell-shocking end. Lauren Welchner and Monica Bradford-Lea deliver a truly unique experience as the “Synsk Sisters”; psychic siblings born and raised in a clever gray area between Norway and Sweden. Even given a shy crowd, this pair was entirely capable of engaging with quirky, exaggerated personas and smooth musical jokes. They easily set a fast-pace with an infectious silliness.
To begin with, one can’t be entirely sure of what is meant to be happening as the Sisters are disguised as the leaders of an odd little book club meeting. However, they came to discuss dragons and eat finger sandwiches – and are all out of sandwiches. Off comes the ruse, and out flares these fairy-snowflake personas – ultimately, girls driven by their interests, including (but not limited to) fortunetelling tropes and love: loud, juvenile, but thoroughly relatable to every person in the room.
The deeper one goes, the more you begin to appreciate how connected the Sisters are to their goat roots and largely inanimate aunts, uncle, and cousins. For the short amount of time they have to work in, it is perfectly clear what the Sisters value most: family. This only adds to the power of the story’s climax. The change is instant. It could be felt in the air; the sibling squabbling and jesting camaraderie disappear under the weight of a tragedy that every person has known. The whole experience comes together and suddenly throw-away lines are deeply meaningful and wacky props are more than just thoughtless whims.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In Waking Life is a story of important life struggles and values, hidden behind a burst of wild, high-energy laughter. Check yourself in for a memorable experience!
Lauren Welchner & Monica Bradford-Lea
Victoria Fringe Festival
Venue 4 (VCM Wood Hall)
- Aug 30 @ 8:15pm
- Aug 31 @ 5:15pm
- Sept 2 @ 12:45pm