All Kidding Aside
5th – 26th August
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
Heading into Surgeons Hall, with the Fringe just starting to open its doors to the world, a modest crowd had gathered to witness the new solo show from the well known Canadian performer, Christel Bartelse. This year’s brainchild is a one-woman show wishing to seek out the truths of motherhood, child-birth, love, emotions, pain and the most important challenge of all, being a parent. Indeed, a baby-like figure appears soon from the underbelly of a table and the creation of life is upon us. What follows is a theatrical tour de force of her subject, with a splash of comedy thrown in for those who in particular find the funniness in child birth.
We swiftly discover that the trials and tribulations enshrouding a woman struggling with coming to terms with being a mother are manifold. Taking such a delicate subject as this and carving it up into pieces of life-strife is an extremely clever angle. In a recent interview with The Mumble, Christel described her creation as being;
A comically honest exploration of my fears and hesitations around being a 30-something year-old woman wanting to hit the snooze button on my biological clock as it starts to tick… This quintessential double bind faced by womankind sets the stage for an epic, hilarious “what if” battle of Parenthood v Career.
This show provokes you, intimidates you (if your are a non-parent), questions you, thrills you and at times endears you. Throwing hope to the wind we are taken on the journey which many of our fellow humans go on, will I or will I not do it? Will I have a child, or even four? With such a primeval topic, Christel Bartelse has written, created and preformed a little gem here in All Kidding Aside, performance art at its best, delivered and executed with an eagerness to please. It is never easy doing a one-person show but this girl knows how. I now bid a good luck to all you future mothers and to Christel with the rest of her shows. Edinburgh, Canada & the whole of womankind salute you !!!!
Reviewer : Raymondo