Full Figure Theatre
39 and ticking… The Musical!

Dates and Venue 3 - 8 August, 2010 | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St.

Director Sharon Heath Musical Director Bill Costin Choreography Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg

Reviewer Melanie Ewan

This musical comedy, produced by Full Figure Theatre, provides a candid look in to the life and mind of a modern woman struggling to figure out what she really wants in the face of her ever-ticking biological clock. Lisa Bailey as Rose, the main character, spends the first act agonizing through 3 “real time” minutes of her life as she awaits the results of a pregnancy test. Meanwhile, the audience is entertained by flashbacks of the last few years of her life. This is where we’re introduced to three aspects of Rose’s sub-conscious, played by Joan MacLean, Lisa Bunting, and Cheryl Mullen, who bicker between themselves while taking turns telling Rose what to do.

Much to Rose’s surprise, somewhere within those dramatic years, her life turns in to a love story. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been completely honest with the man that she has fallen for, and she spends the second half of the play figuring out if her desire to have a baby is greater than her desire to keep her new found love, who, consequently, already has two children, and does not want any more.

While writer/director Sharon Heath does draw on the more melancholy aspects of this topic, such as loneliness and indecision, the material is brought to life through the honesty of the writing, and the accompanying humour. In this way, 39 and ticking... seems to acknowledge that while life does have its serious side, there is humour to be found within all situations.

The actors seem to have a lot of fun with their roles whilst singing hilarious and sometimes slightly scandalous songs about the various facets of love, dating and procreation. Where some may critique the acting as slightly amateur, I maintain that this was more intentional than not, as the play intentionally involves the audience in an informal manner, while drawing us in to the complex and neurotic life of Rose. On opening night, the audience was very responsive to these efforts, and seemed to enjoy watching the comical, yet endearing interactions between the characters.

When all is said and done, if you are looking for a family appropriate, or conservative play, this may not be for you. However, if you’re looking for some laughs, or a truly unique musical, this one will definitely do. The Jericho Arts Center provides an intimate setting with a community feel, which added to the enjoyable and seemingly effortless charm of the evening.

© 2010 Melanie Ewan