Vancouver Fringe Festival review: Precious Little
American playwright Madeleine George has created a sneaky little play.
Brodie, a single lesbian, is pregnant at 42, having put her academic career before family. George takes nearly half the play to set up the stakes, letting Brodie go on at length about the (fictional) dying language she’s studying, the inappropriate gorilla habitat at the zoo, and the “statistical precipice” her late pregnancy puts her on. We get it, she’s an academic, but for a long time, it feels like nothing is happening. It’s only after the turning point that all this setup begins to pay off—in a way that is genuinely moving.
Director Mika Laulainen directs a solid cast: Sara Andrina Brown is a grounded, no-nonsense Brodie; Thérèse Champagne’s irrepressible warmth imbues her multiple supporting roles, including Cleva, one of the last speakers of the dying language, and the Ape, who wears a black dress and pearls. Elizabeth Holliday’s multiple roles could be better differentiated in terms of pace and intensity.
Laulainen creates some beautiful stage pictures, supported by Jared Raschke’s set and lighting and Zoë Wessler’s wistful music. Recommended.