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Flip Flop: Go see Circumference

I went back to the Fringe Festival and the strangest thing happened.

I was meeting someone in the outdoor food and drink area, so I sat down at a table to wait and I noticed that one of the women at the next table was Amy Salloway – the very same Amy Salloway who wrote and performed Circumference, the subject of my mixed review on Monday.

So, you know, I eavesdropped for a couple of minutes. You would have eavesdropped too, right? I can’t even remember what they were talking about. Then my friend showed up and I turned my attention to him and stopped eavesdropping. A few minutes later Amy got up to leave and I looked at her and she looked at me and she said, with a friendly twinkle in her eye, “Were you eavesdropping?”

I was tempted to deny everything, but for some reason I believe everybody will be able to tell I’m lying if I lie, so I generally try to avoid it.

“I wasn’t eavesdropping just now,” I said, “but I was earlier.”

And then I totally outed myself.

“I saw your show the other night,” I said.

“Oh?” she said.

“I blogged it,” I said.

“Oh?” she said.

“On knitnut dot net,” I said.

Because, you know, I know she’s read it because she mentioned my review in a comment she left on Milan’s blog, and this somehow compels me to confess.

So there we are. It’s all out there; the truth is floating in the space between her (the unfunny comedien) and me (the humourless reviewer).

Then she told me that the part of the conversation I hadn’t eavesdropped on was precisely about my blog post about her show. She said she had just been quoting my review to the other people at the table.

“So,” I said, “Did I totally miss the boat in my blog post?”

“Yes,” she said, “It was okay that people thought it was funny. It WAS funny.” And then she said a bunch of stuff, which honestly I don’t remember but I do remember thinking a bunch of times that I was changing my mind. She defended her show quite enthusiastically and with intelligence, integrity, conviction and humour.

And she’s really such a warm, vibrant, beautiful woman and she’s got sparkling eyes and a very engaging personality. Maybe I was mesmorized by all that and that’s why I can’t remember what she said.

All I know is I’ve changed my mind. Go see Circumference. Feel free to laugh! Tell Amy I sent you!

(It’s playing Thursday at 9:30, Saturday at noon, and Sunday at 5:30.)

After all that, I’m sure you have total confidence in my reviewing abilities, right? So here’s another (and I reserve the right to change my mind about this one too.):

A mini-review of Making Deals With Gods

This show is comprised of three 30-minute plays in quick succession: The Miller’s Daughter (Rumplestiltsken), A Brief History of Christianity, and Medusa, performed by five local actors. They took three ancient tales and modernized them with modern language and contemporary humour. The result was a fast-paced, lively and witty show; the hour and a half was over before we knew it.

Details are here: Making Deals With Gods.

We were going to see Iron Sticks after that but we ended up drinking wine instead. Two thumbs up for the wine.


14 comments to Flip Flop: Go see Circumference

  • OK. That’s it. I’m going to see it! You’ve done a fabulous job creating a buzz around that play, Zoom.

  • J.

    Very cute story. It kind of gives me that little reminder: be careful what you write. It’s nice that the two of you chatted about it. :)

  • But you know, her company is called “Awkward Moment Productions” so it sounds like she knows ALL about this stuff and I wouldn’t feel bad any more!

  • XUP

    Okay, I’m a little disappointed. How can you change your mind about your gut reaction to a piece of theatre and/or art? The artist can’t just come along and tell you that your response was wrong. You have to be allowed to bring your life experiences to the art as well. This will, in part, inform your response to the art. Art should be a dynamic communication medium, not a static object. Both artist and audience bring something to it and take something from it. You had an honest and valid reaction to the play.

  • Aggie, YES, go see it and please let me know what you think – I really want to know.

    J – careful yes, but there’s another kind of danger in being too careful too.

    Julia – I hadn’t noticed that!

    XUP – It’s precisely because art is a dynamic communication medium that I can change my mind about it. You say “both artist and audience bring something to it and take something from it.” Yes. And in this case, it didn’t end when the curtain went down; it continued over several days and into the refreshment area and included a conversation with the artist which retroflectively affected my perception of the art.

    (Is ‘retroflectively’ a word?)

  • retroflectively is a wonderful word. Time and more data allows the mind to change. That’s good to hear happen.

  • James

    They make retroflective road paint.

  • XUP

    I see… so if you were to go to the play again, this time you would laugh?

  • XUP, that’s a good question, but impossible to answer unless I go see the play again.

  • When people laugh, it doesn’t necessarily mean they think something is funny. Laughter is complex.

  • XUP

    Wow – this is fascinating, Zoom. I think you should go see the play again to find out. I would be amazed that something that made you so uncomfortable before would now make you laugh no matter how well the playwright defended it. And even though, as Aggie says, laughter is complex. I’ve had the opposite thing happen where I’ve seen a movie I thought was hilarious and then years later when I watched it again, found it really uncomfortable — but there again I’m bringing years worth of new experiences to the movie.

  • Arden

    This is too funny. I was actually hearing a part of the story of her running into you at the festival, just maybe 20-30 minutes after you left, and I got all excited about the fact that I was only a table away from you, even if the times weren’t quite right! It’s the closest thing I come to celebrity aside from the Fringe circuit actors, and the local actors!

    I saw Circumference myself (I’ve seen all of Amy’s shows now), and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am an ample gal as well, and really appreciate her humour. I think that her humour is a way to sugar the pill, make it more swallow-able, and more accessible. Not many people want to see a straight up drama about some body considering getting gastric-bypass surgery. Also, she’s just a supremely funny and fun person on-stage and off, and she writes what she knows.

    Anyways, if you get a chance, see more Fringe shows! I’ve only seen 22 (I saw a whopping 46 last year!) so far this year, but have fallen in love with a lot of them (Everything at the Saw Gallery is worth seeing, as well as many other shows in all of the venues, too many to list!!!)

  • Arden, that’s hilarious. Had you already read my original review by that time? Were you hearing the story from Amy herself, or from the other people who were present at the time?

    I won’t get a chance to see any other shows this year (and good for you for seeing practically all of them – are you reviewing them anywhere?) because I’m heading out of town in mere moments.

  • Arden

    I hadn’t because I’d been fringing to the extreme that I was way behind on my blog reading (I’ve been getting home between 2-4 am most nights, an early night for me is 1:30am, half an hour after the beer tent closes officially)

    I’m not reviewing because it feels a little awkward for me since I know about half the Fringe performers personally and I both feel guilty about posting negative reviews but also posting positive reviews for some shows, but no reviews for others. I think the only show I posted a review for was Boat Load (Saw Gallery performances are Sat 10pm and Sun 6:30pm for any comment readers interested), because it’s my favourite show of the festival this year. I posted that one in the comments/reviews section for the site on the Ottawa Fringe website.