Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

Love is a Battlefield written by Martin Dockery, performed by Vanessa Quesnelle and Martin Dockery; Dramaturgy by Vanessa Quesnelle.

The epitome of the best in Fringe performance, actor, director, story teller, mimic, mime, creator of stage events that are completely original,  Martin Dockery is back in Ottawa under the fringe spotlight with his just as brilliant partner Vanessa Quesnelle. The woman with the velvet singing voice that one could listen to all day, as the character says in this show, also proves how she can hold her own in this brief encounter that appears to be improvised but that is tightly scripted I was told.

A singer has hired the character played by Dockery to make a recording of her latest song. It all takes place in her apartment while her husband it out. Simple enough;  however as emotions heat up, unexpected information is discovered, the simple arrangement becomes an accumulation of complex possibilities and relationships that make the dialogue more and more ambiguous as the interlocutors, avoid clear answers, respond to questions with questions, and create an atmosphere of mistrust that persists until the very end, which in itself is purposely unclear.


The dialogue gets its hooks into us rapidly because it is so relaxed and untheatrical that we keep wondering where this is going. This battle field of emotions suddenly ran its course however and after 50 minutes of unresolved back and forth there is a slight sense of something being repeated nonstop and a sense that one doesn’t believe anything either of them is saying, especially the woman . Thus, I just turned off and waited for it to end while muttering under my breath: he should just leave and put an end to it.

Too much of a good thing can be too much and that is what I felt with this show. Nevertheless, the idea is full of stimulating possibilities , the dialogue was so natural that it made the performances flow like cool water as the two of them play off against each other, creating a great sense of sexual tension that never quite has the chance to declare itself. Obviously on purpose.

A high class performance by the royalty of summer fringe. Go see this

Love is a battlefield in The Court Room at Arts court presented by Concrete Drops. Friday (17) 6pm, Saturday (18) 10 pm, Sunday (19) 3h30, Monday (20) 8h30 pm, Tuesday (21) 6pm, Thursday (23) 7pm, Friday (24) 5h30 pm. Saturday (25) 9h30 pm, Sunday )26) 2h30 p,