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ALLAN’S REVIEW: The Frenzy of Queen Maeve @ Ottawa Fringe 2013

Hailing from Saskatoon, Bzzt Trap Door Theatre brings their production of an award-winning script to Ottawa. The Frenzy of Queen Maeve is a heartfelt drama set in 1970s Northern Ireland during “The Troubles.”

Should you see it?

FiveSet in 1972, The Frenzy of Queen Maeve is about a young Belfast woman, Aisling, stuck in the middle during the troubles. Just to be contrarian at first, she gets involved with both an Irishman who’s part of the IRA and with a British landowner - at the same time. She then falls in love with both eventually leaving her with a very tough choice: her country, or her safety.

Largely leaving the politics aside, this well-crafted play is a very human story of love, loyalty, hard choices, and tough situations. It was written by Anthony MacMahon and won Ottawa Little Theatre’s National playwriting competition in 2012.

And deservedly so as The Frenzy of Queen Maeve is a compelling piece of theatre that managed to do something that’s happened so rarely at Fringe for me this year - care about the characters in the story. (Botched may be the only other show so far to accomplish that.)

The cast of The Frenzy of Queen Maeve (photo: David Pasho)

The cast of The Frenzy of Queen Maeve (photo: David Pasho)

Jackie Block is fantastic in her role of a woman almost trying to stay out of the conflict by choosing to keep a bed (literally) in both sides of the camp. Both Nathan Howe and Chris Hapke do outstanding work as her lovers, Irish and British respectively. All three show incredible depth and range of emotion throughout the show taking you through their highs and their heartbreaks. They also all have very strong chemistry together.

Honestly, this drama would be perfectly comfortable at home on stage at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. It is certainly the strongest work of its type that I’ve seen on stage since the must-see East of Berlin there last year.

And yes, for those of you who know how much theatre I see, that’s a tall claim. Check it out for yourself and tell me what you think.

Because that’s just my opinion and I really would like to know what you think. Did the Frenzy of Queen Meave hit all the right beats or did it fall flat for you? Did you feel any sympathy for Fionn or was it all pretty black and white? Tell me in the comments below.

For more information on the Frenzy of Queen Maeve, check out our preview article, complete with video and links to other press.

About Allan Mackey

Allan Mackey is editor-in-chief of Production Ottawa, which, really, is too fancy a title. He also acts as show producer for Should You See It, making sure you get your answer in just about two minutes every time. He writes stuff and occasionally turns that stuff into movies. Keep being awesome!


  1. [...] (4) Barely Even There Botched :: Allan’s Review (3) The Frenzy of Queen Maeve (w/ video) :: Allan’s Review (5) The Greatest Guitarist in the World :: Valerie’s Review (3) The Hatter (w/ video) :: [...]

  2. [...] review says all I need to about the Frenzy of Queen Maeve: this is a show that wouldn’t be out of place on stage at the Great Canadian Theatre Company and [...]