Victoria Fringe 2019: Bedwetter

When Tamlynn Bryson was a teenager, her diaper was both friend and foe.

Tamlynn Bryson is a charm machine. (In case it’s not clear, that’s a very good thing.) In Bedwetter, she takes an unlikely topic — her own bedwetting, which continued until she was 15 — and turns it into a consistently entertaining hour.

Bryson performs Bedwetter solo — kind of. Kyle Kimmerly, who co-wrote the script with her and is running the tech, is also a presence: he turns the lights out when she fails to give him credit, for instance.

The baseline of this show is serious: it’s really fucking hard for a kid to negotiate things like sleepovers and camp when they’re terrified of humiliating themselves; even harder to conquer teenage thresholds like dating. And, as Bryson points out, sitcoms and movies routinely make thoughtless and degrading gags about wetting the bed.

But it’s Bryson’s resilience and comedic chops that sell this show. You’ve got to love the grade-six Bryson when she calls out her gym teacher for making a diaper joke. (You’ve also got to adore her parents for raising such a self-possessed kid.)

The script is often freshly funny: “Is that a strong enough story to end on?” Bryson asks late in the game. And, although not every convention is strong, Bryson’s delivery is unfailingly excellent. She’s effervescent, she pops in and out of characters in nanoseconds, and, in an eccentric trademark, she mines hilarity out of non-reactions like “Huh?”

Bedwetters of the world unite! I was one. Thanks, Tamlynn Bryson for being so out.

At Studio 16. Remaining performances on September 7 (4:30 p.m.), 8 (1:00 p.m.), 9 (5:00 p.m.), 12 (8:30 p.m.), and 14 (8:15 p.m.)


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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