Fugly (The Janes)
Edmonton Fringe Festival
According to the company’s website, Fugly: [D]eals with the struggle to be authentic in a world that values quite the opposite. This show is stylish, satirical, and yet so personal.
It’s an Alice-In-Wonderland metaphor. They do a good job of making that clear. And the props and sets are quite clever. But aside from that…
It is not satirical. It is hit-you-over-the-head with a message that has been already written about and much more cleverly satirized thousands of times in music, theatre and writing. Personal? Not really. The one-dimensional characters and unnatural, stilted dialogue (made even more unnatural by the stiff, over-enunciated delivery) removes any relatability.
It’s the sort of flog-you-with-a-social-message melodrama that one expects to see in a high school drama class. Not in a forum where world-class artists perform.
It is clear to see that these women firmly believe in the message, and in this show – and that’s a start. But it is in desperate need of some good directing, and they need to realize that subtlety drives home a social message much more successfully than this overtly allegorical play.