Reviews - Fringe 2017

Open the Lace Curtains

By Arthur Bullock
Published July 22, 2017

Most people have some things that they would rather keep hidden from others, and everyone has the right to their privacy. For some, letting out secrets is one of the worst things that can happen, because it means potentially damaging your reputation. However, too many secrets can lead to very significant problems, and they become increasingly dangerous the more they build up.

As Marianne Daly has discovered, keeping these secrets in the dark will turn them into burdens, but opening up about your life can make you feel lighter. In Open the Lace Curtains, she shares her experiences with the audience, in the hopes that they will be able to share in this feeling of empowerment.

The story takes the form of a one-woman show, performed primarily via the format of storytelling. Ms. Daly offers a thoughtful, compassionate and frequently hilarious retelling of her own life. She strives to represent all sides of the story, rather than merely offering an account of her own memories.

In addition to elaborating on the perspectives and backgrounds of key figures, Daly directly takes on the characters of two separate people from her past. Each character is refreshingly distinct from the other personae in the play, including that of the storyteller herself.

Through them, multiple unique perspectives are represented simultaneously, helping the audience to understand them in a way that would not be possible otherwise.

Daly is an extremely expressive performer, and she remains physically active while on stage. Her line delivery is very clear, and the overall story flows very effectively. It is never difficult to follow along with her, nor does she ever leave you without something interesting to focus on.

It is clear that the performance had strong directing behind it, given how consistently well-put-together it all is, and Daly demonstrates more than enough skill to follow through on that direction. Her brilliant sense of humour keeps the story from getting too dark, but it never takes away from serious or dramatic moments.

By the very nature of its premise, Open the Lace Curtains deals with subject matter that many people would probably prefer to keep hidden. Even so, I would recommend it to almost anyone: whether you have experienced abuse yourself, know someone else who did, or simply wish to learn more about the struggles of abused individuals, you will be able to learn from it.

Open the Lace Curtains
Open the Lace Curtains

Arthur Bullock is studying communications at McMaster University.

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