[2014108] True Story

[2014108] True Story

Ruth Wilkin @ La Bohème

6:00pm, Mon 10 Mar 2014

The fact that we were into the final week of the Fringe was evident by the number of shows that were cancelling performances – and by the poor audience numbers at the shows that did decide to front up. And this timeslot was a prime example of both these symptoms: my initial choice for a 6pm show on a public holiday Monday had cancelled, sending me scurrying across to La Bohème to join a… well, let’s just call them a select crowd. The lucky few, perhaps.

So: drink acquired, my eyes lit up at the almost-empty nook to stage left: it’s an appealing spot at LaB, but I’d never sat there before. There was a woman sitting alone at one of the cocktail tables in the nook, so I asked if she minded if I sat there; she smiled, assured me there were no problems with that, and then – about ninety seconds later – took to the stage.

I must be the easiest mark in the world :)

Without wanting to sound too dismissive, Ruth Wilkin’s show is a collection of the types of stories and memes that get bandied about on social media; weird tales that have their own entries on Snopes, silly stuff from Amazon, and end-to-end incredulity. Opening with a piece about Theatre Ninjas, humorous material is interleaved with some polished tunes (with piano accompaniment). Wilkin also uses projected PowerPoint slides liberally – and creatively – to tell some of her True Stories.

And whether it’s the story of the Polish dentist who removed all her ex’s teeth, or creepy ghost stories, or the smattering of “helpful” customer reviews (banana slicers and the infamous Three-Wolf Shirt being the best examples), Wilkin delivers both monologue and song with confidence and clear voice.

While True Story could be accused of being wholly unoriginal (a charge that could be levelled at most cabaret shows), it is Wilkin’s curation and linking of the source material that makes this show unique. There’s no real depth or meaning to the performance, but it is a lot of fun… and Wilkin’s ability to work with a small (and quiet) crowd was impressive. She’ll certainly remain on the radar for future performances.

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