There is something deliciously seductive about witnessing Beth McLaughlin describe things. Her whispery voice, her expressive eyes, her precise cadence: you can practically bathe in her verbal portraits of a childhood Christmas morning or a dog’s funeral. Heavenly.

Cocky is a memory play about lots of things, but mostly, it’s about McLaughlin’s father, with whom she had a scattered relationship. Over an hour, she spirals and twists thoughtfully through her history and beyond. In one moving section, she tenderly reads her parents’ wartime love letters.

Accordingly, the show’s structure is almost as messy as said relationship with her dad, but it appears perfectly poised to weave together in a devastating emotional climax. So when it… doesn’t, but instead simply ends with a whimper, it’s a little disappointing.

Cocky adds up to less than the sum of its parts, but to be fair, that sum is already fairly high.

Remaining performances at Studio 16 on September 9 (1 p.m.), 10 (5 p.m.), 13 (8:35 p.m.), 15 (8 p.m.) > David Johnston


This is a guest review.

David Johnston is a Vancouver-based actor, aerialist, and writer, not in that order. He recently hailed from the Edmonton Fringe, where he saw many excellent shows and also ate a green onion cake. The green onion cake got three-and-a-half stars. David is a recent graduate of Studio 58, and is currently writing a script about reviews, so this should be a rather meta experience. He’s delighted to join FRESH SHEET for the Vancouver Fringe.


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About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.

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