This is my second review of the 2017 Winnipeg Fringe Festival, but the first play I actually saw. It was late-ish on Wednesday, and I was looking for a 2/$12 play to take in. I saw Wanderlust was listed on the big board, and so I took a wander of my own to see if I could find a poster for the play.
When I found the poster, it announced that the performer was Martin Dockery. The name rang a bell somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind. So, I did a little Googling and discovered Dockery is also the man behind The Holy Land Experience. The Holy Land Experience was one of the first Fringe plays I reviewed. I really enjoyed it, and based on that I decided I would take in Wanderlust.
The show is staged in Venue 10, at the Planetarium Auditorium. This is one of the more pleasant venues at the Fringe. There are plenty of seats, the seats are comfortable and the building is air-conditioned.
Dockery is a storyteller, so there is not much in terms of props or scenery for the show. Just a stool and a water bottle. The lack of props doesn’t matter because Dockery has a strong, physical style to his storytelling. He has the ability to take you on location as it were, through his words and actions.
Wanderlust is a voyage of discovery. Dockery takes us along as he leaves New York and heads off to Africa to try and discover the purpose of EVERYTHING.
As he journeys Dockery is certain that this epiphany is just around the corner. He just needs the right circumstances. In many ways Dockery is the typical “idiot abroad,” and there is a great deal of humour in this. In addition, along the may towards this great awakening, Dockery falls in with all sorts of characters. These characters aid or hinder him, to varying degrees, in this great quest.
While the characters in these stories are not always helpful, Dockery always manages to make them humourous. In part by contrasting their foibles with his own. You’re never at a loss for laughs in this show. In particular what sets up as a scary, “ghost” story.
Dockery is a great physical comic. The train story shows this at it’s best. He maintains a great pace throughout the show. Despite the show dealing with characters of a great many nationalities, he doesn’t indulge too much in accents. Instead he sets up the scenes with great, funny word pictures.
Dockery makes many discoveries along the way, but as for how his search ends, well I’ll heave that for you to find out. This show isn’t a must see Fringe show, but it is a good show if you are really in need of a laugh, or just want to listen to some great storytelling.