Circumference - measures up

Circumference: Amy Salloway gets the measure of the US health insurance scam, er, system

Minneapolis-based Amy Salloway brings Circumference, a multi-character one woman show about a woman who has divorced her body, to this year’s Victoria Fringe Festival.

The story follows Amy through the embarrassing trials of junior high school and into the present, and a doctor’s office where she is receiving a consultation for by-pass surgery.  In order to gain full medical coverage for the surgery, she must go through a six month intensive fitness and diet regime to prove that she is unable to lose weight. Through a series of flashbacks we see where Amy’s feelings of inadequacies stem including an event in gym-class which caused her to divorce herself from her body. During the six month regime we see Amy’s highs of experiencing a romantic connection with a car injury victim named, Kevin. We also witness her extreme lows when she is denied by-pass surgery due to her weight loss, and the realization that Kevin desires to date someone more attractive.  In the end, the body that she ex-communicated – which is hilariously characterized as an apathetic, chain smoking woman – returns and helps her see that she not only needs accept herself but also her place in the world.  

Salloway is a dynamic performer, painstakingly honest, and funny.  Due to its sharp wit and honesty, Circumference reminded me of The Wonder Years.  Even the most self deprecating moments are very funny, for example, when she is at her lowest she talks about dying at 500 pounds and having sandwiches rain from the ceiling. Salloway’s handles the multi-characterization very well - my personal favourite is the gynecologist who is more interested in Amy’s insurance approval that he is in Amy. Circumference does follow some traditional territory of awkward teen moments, such as the geek versus the jock syndrome. However, because Salloway is such a shinning presence the audience is completely wrapped up. I stopped taking notes in order not to miss any of the nuances in the performance or story. And in the end I could not stop from holding back the tears at the uplifting message.  This is a must see show, that will leave you feeling fully satisfied.    

Circumference written and performed by Amy Salloway; Awkward Moment Productions (Minneapolis, MN). A part of the 2008 Victoria Fringe Festival it continues its run on Tue 26, 9:30 • Thu 28, 7:45 • Sat 30, 9:30 at the Victoria Event Centre (Venue 5). For more information, just follow this link here.

By Laura Harris