VANCOUVER FRINGE 2022: Every Good Story Ends With One

publicity photo for Every Good Story Ends With OneIn Every Good Story Ends With One, well-loved Fringe performer Martin Dockery tells the story of a humiliatingly bad run he had at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, a run that was miraculously saved by an ardent — and anonymous — fan who sent a series of letters and small gifts to his dressing room. As a performer, Dockery knows what he’s doing. His delivery is so infectiously energetic that resisting it would feel ungenerous. Within this extremity, he uses sudden changes of tone and volume for dramatic — and comedic — effect. He knows how to repeat phrases to get laughs from accumulation: “Not that I’m religious!” And his storytelling is always appealingly affectionate, even when he’s mocking his own eagerness to believe that Erin, the faceless, phone-numberless writer, sees something in him that everybody else in his grumpy nightly audiences has overlooked. For me, Every Good Story goes thematically slack, though. Dockery explores the idea that narratives, including religious and romantic narratives, can be runaway generators of meaning and, all too often, repositories of pure fantasy. There’s nothing wrong with these ideas, but they aren’t fresh either. I kept thinking, “If you’re going to take me here, show me something new.” And then, after spending too long in the wilderness, he does. The final passage of Every Good Story is transcendentally trippy and packs an excellent narrative punch.

At the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Remaining performances at Performance Works: September 10, 4:45 pm; September 13, 7:00 pm.; September 14, 10:30 pm; September 16, 3:00 pm, and September 17, 8:45 pm. Tickets for all performances.

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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