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Danger Thin Ice
Presented by Working Class Productions

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Reviewed: 2006-08-02 04:01:49
Rated: 9 out of 10 [4.5 Stars]
By: Leila Marston (primordialmuse@gmail.com)

Danger Thin Ice invites the audience into the precariously balanced life of a recently dumped Winnipeg woman whose crisply articulated routines hide a rapidly fragmenting mind.  Writer-performer Andrea Shawcross has composed an excellent script, and plays the role with frighteningly convincing depth.  From the beginning, it's clear that the young woman is unstable, and the story moves her into a downward spiral towards her secret, revealed in the taut ending.

It's a magnetic performance.  The viewer is invited into the almost claustrophobic space of a lonely, needy young woman who clings to a man she knows is no good, and follows her development - or rather, degeneration - after she is abandoned and tries to rationalise all that has occurred.  She is a completely believable character, her movements and gestures precise with restrained anger and fear. 

Small details show an enormous amount of thought and preparation in the show's crafting - witness one scene in which she fills a wine goblet to the very top, emptying the wine bottle perfectly without spilling a drop, so exact it drew spontaneous applause.  Subtle lighting cues differentiate night and day, present and memories, reality and fantasy.  The script is very real, raw and immediate, and is tangential in several places precisely because it must be so, because the character speaking is not rational, because she must ramble and rationalise and rail without result.

This was a brilliant, moving play, and I removed a half-star from a perfect evaluation to leave the ranking slightly imperfect - it seems most apt for a performance entirely driven by the darkness and deep flaws of a single wounded character.

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Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival
Quote of the Moment
"But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."
-- Romeo (Romeo and Juliet)

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