Vancouver Fringe Festival review: Princess Rescuers

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      Playwright Ben Bilodeau has some interesting and bold ideas in his new script, but it lacks clarity and focus, and it needs more jokes.

      The concept is sort of intriguing: in an imaginary future world, the gender binary and class binary have been reinforced and retrofitted. Every woman is a princess who gets put in a tower on her 18th birthday. Princes can offload the hassle of freeing them and outsource the job. The two princess rescuers here screw up their contract and are forced to take on an impossible job in order to recoup their money and their reputations.

      I don’t want to spoil anything, but a witch ends up as the main villain, even though the actual villain is the patriarchy, and at the end, the male lead delivers a speech to a princess about how she can just rescue herself, that “it doesn’t have to be this way.”

      This male character is gaslighting the princess, and the real world parallels are just too much to handle.

      This is not the feminist-friendly futuristic fairy-tale adventure Bilodeau seems to think it is.