Ottawa Fringe 211:Life- A Project That Lacks Focus

Reviewed by Maja Stefanovska

Categories: Ottawa Fringe 2011

Dealing with depression, abuse, suicide and drunk driving, Alain Chauvin’s Life takes on many of the heavy and important issues youth deal with every day. While the play did have some good elements – its use of music, lyrics and audio-visuals were quite touching- it ultimately did not achieve the depth needed for an exploration of such disturbing and ever-present issues as it strove to explore. The story of Jacob, a high school student dealing with the death of his mothers as well as questions of his own sexuality and place in the world, seems to be a run-through of problems that could affect a 17-year-old. The play bites off too much and, as such, the ultimate message is lost. Does the story deal with grief? Does it deal with questions of sexuality? Or does it deal with the perils of drunk driving? All are mentioned to some extent, but none are really explored. The play would have been better served by a more focused topic which would have allowed for more depth of feeling. The acting also left something to be desired. However, the topics Life deals with are all worthwhile and the play does hold potential for growth. The set in particular, was very well used and there was an believability to the script, even if it did lack subtlety at times. There was also a passion that came out of the play- it was evident the project meant a lot to all those involved. However, ultimately, the project did lack focus and subtlety which would have connected the story with the emotions.


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