Review: Light-hearted and cute, ‘The Fiancée’ is a funny (but imperfect) holiday show

Review: Light-hearted and cute, ‘The Fiancée’ is a funny (but imperfect) holiday show

Matt Olson – December 5, 2022

Photo Credit: Rose (Jameela McNeil) confronts her sister Lucy (Ali Watson) about her multiple engagements during Persephone Theatre’s production of The Fiancée by Holly Lewis. The show runs until Dec. 18, 2022 (Supplied / Photo courtesy of Persephone Theatre)

Persephone Theatre’s holiday comedy is a frivolous, fun, and quite cute diversion for all ages — even if it doesn’t hit all the marks of an exceptional farce.

The performance of The Fiancée on Sunday night brought the laughs, but missed the snappy timing that would have elevated the show from good to spectacular.

The Fiancée follows Lucy (Ali Watson) and her sister Rose (Jameela McNeil) as they deal with multiple conundrums: their new landlady demanding rent on the same day Rose loses her job, that same landlady threatening eviction since the building only rents to married couples, and Lucy’s three fiancées all returning from the war. Lucy’s inability to say no to anyone or anything lands her and her sister in a furious attempt to keep their apartment — and keep Lucy’s fiancées from crossing paths.

The best farces need physicality, clever jokes, and impeccable timing. While The Fiancée had the first two down pat, it was imperfect timing that slowed the show.

Whether it was small moments between actors or long setups between jokes, the rapid-fire pace of a great farce never materialized.

If you can get past the awkward pacing, the show brings plenty of comedy. But the moments when everything clicked came in pieces broken up by transitions that seemed to linger past their welcome. It felt like the production was hoping the audience would provide a sitcom-esque laugh track to fill the spaces with no jokes or dialogue.

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