Preshrunk reveals the complexity of our own psyches and more…

Reviewed by Maja Stefanovska

Categories: Ottawa Fringe 2011

Who in this world is sane? This is the question Kainz Players’ dark comedy Preshrunk asks. Five psychiatric patients who arrive for their usual Tuesday meeting with their psychiatrist. When he does not show up, mild chaos ensues as each of the patient’s problems are revealed both through their discussions with each other and monologues. Soon, it is revealed by a detective posing as a grief counselor that the doctor was killed, and the most likely suspects are those in the room. Disbelief soon turns into more revelations, this time with the spotlight turned on the doctor. As more information is disclosed, one truly begin to question just who in this world actually has it together or, in fact, whether this hallowed state exists at all. Directed by the New Ottawa Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Paul Dervis, the play is masterfully put together. The transitions from scenes and monologues are seamless and infuse the production with flow. One of the best performances came from Jerome Bourgault, who portrayed a patient, the sarcastic but insecure Len, with a precision that made it possible to hate and pity him at the same time. His skill was closely followed by Charlie Ebbs’ with his portrayal of narcissistic and hilarious patient Antoine whose monologue had the room in stitches. As more of us succumb to depression, anxiety and the like, questioning our own state of reason has become an increasingly common activity. Preshrunk helps put this sentiment into words and reveals the complexity not only of our own psyches but the nature of our relationships with each other.



A Kainz Players  Production

Written by Alana Kainz

Directed by Paul Dervis


Len: Jerome Bourgault

Jack: Alex Kirkpatrick

Susan: Annette Huton

Antoine: Charlie Ebbs

Barb: Rachelle Casseus

Detective Nicholson: Brian Tannenbaum

Detective Dean Dunn: Adam Skanks

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