Saturday, August 20, 2011


Pardon the pun, but The Cockwhisperer -- A Love Story has a happy ending.

Colette Kendall (Tippi Seagram’s Happy Hour, Who’s Afraid of Tippi Seagram?) embarks on a new style of theatre in her Bildungsroman from her repressed 12-year-old self finding prophylactics in her parents room to a stellar Canadian history buff teenager itching for sex to a having a loving, healthy relationship with the male appendage.

The masterful storyteller brings a laugh a line from the get go, until she masters a dramatic mood change. Tales of her dysfunctional marriage are easy to laugh along with until she decides to be serious. Then you feel you've been punched in the face. Yet hers is a story too many can relate to -- losing yourself for the sake of making a relationship work.

Her storytelling is self-deprecating, honest, painful and hilarious all over the course of the hour.

Whether she's lampooning sex-ed classes in the 1970s, or jumping back into her 15-year-old skin and doing the Hustle she's fearless in the delivery of her monologue. She explains to the younger festival-goers in the crowd that her discovery of sex pre-dated the Internet. Her sources of information were health class and schoolyard rumour.

She knows how to play to an audience, shining a light on the people watching and takes a walk through the theatre.

Penises are a popular topic at the Fringe, but this story is much more about the discovery of her own sexuality and emotional well-being.

In spite of the traumatic journey that lead her to the point, she has a good grip on her subject even if this work is a departure from her usual performance, although she keeps to her "no minors" subject matter.

Oh, and the X on her program she's left to dispose of your gum gets a whole lot funnier in the middle of the show.

Catherine Griwkowsky

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