Fresh Meat 5 has officially come to a close and the last of the reviews have hit the "stands" so to speak. Whether you're aching to know what you missed, or just want to re-live the magic, we've rounded them all up for you to pour over on this dreary Monday. Thank you once again to The New Ottawa Critics, The Capital Critics Circle and On Stage for their speedy and comprehensive coverage. Y'all are the best best best.
Written & performed by Greg Houston
From the New Ottawa Critics: "Houston is definitely funny - there are some great laughs."
From the Capital Critics Circle: "His autobiographically based piece, quite witty at times, hovers in a no-man’s land between stand-up and storytelling."
From On Stage: "Houston earns many laughs with his self-deprecating sense of humour."
Created by Monica Bradford-Lea, Even Gilchrist, Cullen Elijah McGrail & Franco Pang
Performed by Monica Bradford-Lea, Even Gilchrist & Cullen Elijah McGrail
From the New Ottawa Critics: "while it’s already enjoyable, it also carries a lot of potential still waiting to be unlocked by these talented young performers."
From the Capital Critics Circle: "amusing and well-timed."
From On Stage: "There is a definite sense of the clown in their childlike and comical antics, and of all the acts performed that night, this is the concept I would like to see expanded into a full length production."
Created & performed by Kate Smith
Directed by Madeleine Boyes-Manseau
From the New Ottawa Critics: "Burger King Lear is a Whopper of a good time."
From the Capital Critics Cricle: "The show, which is delightfully ridiculous and wholly engaging, has a serious intent: to make you see the gross and wasteful disregard of animal life that is the heart of the fast-food industry."
From On Stage: "It's hard not to love."
Created & performed by Jordan Moffatt, Hayley Robateau & Christian Glas
From the New Ottawa Critics: "a hilarious balance of improvised and scripted comedy that profits from the skill with which it straddles this boundary."
From the Capital Critics Circle: "It’s funny, fast and damn near flawless."
From On Stage: "hard to not compare their act to great sketch comedies like Monty Python’s Flying Circus."
Written & performed by Kevin Reid
From the New Ottawa Critics: "Its greatest strength lies in its profound reflection on death and how humans process such an event."
From the Capital Critics Circle: "[Kevin Reid] is a compelling, sympathetic teller with a nice sense of his and life’s absurdities and vulnerabilities.
From On Stage: "concise, polished, funny when it needed to be, sad when it should be, and kept you wanting to hear just what happened next."
Written & performed by Will Somers
From the New Ottawa Critics: "Somers is a talented musician and storyteller, and uses these skills to reveal a vibrant core at the heart of this production that has a lot of room to grow."
From the Capital Critics Circle: "the performance manages to churn up a strange reality about our nature as humans: We are constrained by solipsism, and yet, measure our actions through the eyes of others. A cruel truth."
Written & directed by Mitchel Rose
Performed by Mitchel Rose & Madeleine Hall
From the New Ottawa Critics: "Creating a universe in which humor and horror exist on the same spectrum, this piece exists in a certain state of unreality that is guaranteed to keep you entertained."
From the Capital Critics Circle: "The stand-out of the evening... the performance calls to mind the cartoonish antics of Scooby-Doo, the physical high jinks of I Love Lucy and the strange, surreal tension of David Lynch."
From On Stage: "It’s Mitchel Rose who steals the show when he finally makes his much anticipated appearance. While his appearance is rather strange, it does serve as the cherry on the top of this absurdist play."
Co-written & performed by Jake William Smith
Co-written & directed by Danielle Savoie
From the New Ottawa Critics: "Jake William Smith brings an excellent persona to the character of Crowhurst, with the wide eyes and dazzling smile that makes every successful con man so appealingly ‘trustworthy.’"
From the Capital Critics Circle: "Smith’s charisma as Crowhurst manages to sell the story."
From On Stage: "While the comedy is welcome in a performance such as this, it makes the story hard to track. It’s hard to tell what’s significant and what is merely comic relief."
Written & performed by Deborah Ring
Directed by Gabbie Lazarovitz
From the New Ottawa Critics: "Ring nails the style and atmosphere of a TED Talk perfectly and each character carries their own distinct lecture style."
From the Capital Critics Circle: "Ring is deadly funny and brings audiences to the brink of discomfort, where all the best comedy lives."
From On Stage: "[Ring] is so adept at adopting these personae that she can take those jokes that seem funny from the pure shock of them and carry them to the point where they are no longer a laughing matter.
Created & performed by Matt Hertendy & Matthew Venner
From the New Ottawa Critics: "Two Kind Boys really do understand the format and aim of the Fresh Meat Festival...they embrace whole-heartedly the weirdness of this idea they came up with."
From the Capital Critics Circle: "Hertendy and Venner are advantaged by their awkward physical presences on stage, and this show will undoubtedly give you the giggles."
From On Stage: "While there are plenty of laughs to be had in this performance, it’s one that will make you regret drowning out bits of rare narration from “the chair” and will leave you feeling more than a little unsettled at its conclusion…"