The Girl Who Was Raised by Wolverine - Needs Another Draft
I managed to misread the synopsis for The Girl Who Was Raised by Wolverine, so I was expecting a dystopian future made bearable for a teenager through the influence of comic books...
In reality the Wolverine mentioned in the Fringe Program Guide is of First Nations, not Marvel, fame. It is a narrator/trickster/guardian figure that facilitates the action of the plot. Wolverine presents the "case" to the audience, asking us to decide the characters’ fate at the end. Not a bad premise. It takes audience participation up a notch while allowing the play to stay a drama, and it encourages us to look at the whole experience as a social experiment, which brings the consequences to a more personal level. Unfortunately that mildly edgy idea was all this play had going for it. The material was superficial and didactic, the characters undeveloped and two dimensional. The whole production felt general, shying away from any real commitment or specificity. The actor playing the female Wolverine (apparently none of my shows had programs this year, I did ask, I swear) was a breath of fresh air, executing the lacklustre dialogue with perfect timing and presence.
Aside from the angsty artifice, there were a few minor logistical teething problems, like changing the set when the location is supposed to stay the same, sound that drowned out the performer's voices, and changes of character that, while indicated with the traditional changing of one item of clothing, had no other indicators either physically or vocally on behalf of the actors. But despite all that, The Girl Who Was Raised by Wolverine does have promise. It's a great concept. Fill out the characters, amp up the atmosphere, inject some real human stories into the plot and you'll have a disturbing and heartbreaking piece. The kernels are all there, it just needs a lot more work.