Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

Doctor Keir Co (Montreal), Studio Léonard-Beaulne

Just when you thought the question about whether Shakespeare actually wrote Shakespeare was one of those arcane discussions that had finally been consigned to the dumpster of literary history, Keir Cutler raises it again in this lecture-style, partly autobiographical and largely uninspiring comedy. Turns out that the contrarian Cutler’s interest in disputing Shakespeare’s authorship of all those works (he does marshal some enticing arguments for his position) is at heart a rallying cry for independent thinking in the face of smug, conformity-loving academics who simply squelch any discussion of uncomfortable questions like the authorship one. The show has a undisciplined feel, including an extraneous homage to his bright, ambitious parents and an account of how, on the path to a PhD, Cutler discovered that he’d score top marks only by parroting back to professors their own opinions. I don’t know about you, but my own, extended university experience completely contradicts the latter. This show is Cutler’s eighth Ottawa Fringe appearance.

The Ottawa Fringe Festival continues until June 26. Tickets/information: Box offices and venues, 613-232-6162,