REVIEW: SEPT 13, 2016
Despite the show’s title, The “F” Words is not a celebration of curse words and vulgarity. There IS cursing, but there’s more to it.
Yvette Dudley-Neuman takes us through the emotional roller-coaster of the life of Frannie, variously known as Funny Frannie and Fat Frannie by her friends and detractors, respectively. By now, you can see the alliteration that will weave through the play and give it its name.
In her early years, Frannie is inspired by her strong Greek grandmother, a woman who gives her hope. But like many of us, Frannie’s later years are fraught with fear and an overbearing sense of dread. She drifts away from her friends and becomes forlorn, a mess of confusing feelings and fatalism dragging her into depression.
Will Frannie throw in the towel and give in her to her Fattist (OK, I think that one’s made up) adversaries or will she put her fortitude on display and drag herself out of her funk?
Yes, some of the “F” words that come up include curses and vulgarity, and this may not be a show you will want to bring the kids along for. But you would be missing out on this incredibly alliterative journey if you skip it entirely.
As Frannie, Dudley-Neuman is the perfect mix of manic energy and depressed stupor. She embodies the highs and lows most of us feel as we grow older, the self doubt that creeps in turning from a slow simmer to a rolling boil.
The “F” Words does suffer from a few faults. The opening is a bit slow and the whole show could have cut about 10 minutes. But don’t let that stop you from checking this amazing emotional tour de force.
— Justin Bell – Edmonton Journal
The “F” Words
• 4 stars out of 5
• Stage 8 Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre