Teaching the Fringe

Brick building with fire escape

Keir Cutler’s Teaching the Fringe is an entertaining hour-long monologue, consisting of the elaborate rebuttal of a letter of complaint written by a woman who attended one of his previous shows. While her comments probably didn’t necessitate such an extensive response, amused audiences will be glad they did.

Cutler manages to express his contempt for the position of the complainer largely through self-deprecating humour. He also uses indirect reasoning to make fun of the weaker arguments. While that may not sound like a compelling show, the premise serves as a fine platform for Cutler’s expressiveness and pleasing verbal style. The gradual process of deconstructing the complaint through humour is particularly gratifying to anyone who has thrown some work of their own into the public domain, only to experience mystifying and half-unhinged responses.

The show’s only truly flat moment arrives with a series of jokes about 9/11. It wasn’t really that they were insensitive, they just weren’t funny. Their painless expulsion would render the performance amusing from start to finish.

Those in Ottawa have two more chances to see it and, judging by some of the autiobiographical references therein, it seems likely to tour other Canadian cities.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

One thought on “Teaching the Fringe

  1. Teaching the Fringe – Kier Cutler
    June 27, 2008

    Keir Cutler, the actor that dominates the autobiographical monologue “Teaching the Fringe”, pulls off his one-man show with poise, intelligence, and a well-sculpted sense of timing and sense of audience reaction. He hit every comic cue seamlessly, and despite throwing in a few shameless flirtations with that giggle-button word ‘cunt’, (the man knows his Shakespeare, and presumably, Shakespeare’s age-old trick of getting an audiences giggles at the mere mention of genitalia) he had the audience in stitches for most of the performance.

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