REVIEW: Little Lady @ Ottawa Fringe 2012

A physical theatre show about our obsession with body image, by former Cirque de Soleil performer, Sandrine Lafond. Should you see it?

Little Lady is a one woman show by Sandrine Lafond. It’s about an adorable old lady who follows her daily routine of knitting, spraying her room and sucking her toes (It makes sense in context). When she starts to take a strange sort of pill, her body starts to undergo a few changes. The strength in her legs returns, her posture straightens and her “proportions” improve drastically.

The style of the show is reminiscent of Cirque de Soleil. It has no dialogue and tells a story completely through movement and action. Lafond’s mastery of her body lets her tell a story with it so that little things like body habits and posture reveal character better than any line could. Her character is instantly likable and she garners the audience’s affection immediately.

The show was closed up with a short video projected on the background which, unfortunately, must have had a few tech issues because the music didn’t sync up with it. Lafond apologized for it at the end of the show and I can only hope it’s been fixed since then. To be fair, though, the show suffered very little for it and you will find yourself enjoying Little Lady just as much, and it earns a four on our scale.

Allan’s Followup:

Little Lady is perfectly like a circus clown routine with French influences (particularly in music). This is, of course, intentional, since the creator of show Sandrine Lafond worked for Cirque de Soleil for five years and friends and co-workers helped with the make-up and other design elements. It’s a show metaphorically about body image and laughing at the lengths we go to “be better” — from pills to plastic surgery. (And if I sound so informed, it’s because I am, having talked to Lafond about her show.)

The show opens to Lafond’s “Little Lady” lying in bed, butt way up in the air, just in the process of waking up. Very quickly you get to see how amazingly adept Lafond is with her body movement. She’s able to move and hold her body in positions that for most people are impossible and some that you wouldn’t think are possible. It feels like she’s trapped in a lab as an experiment, and each day her routine changes, including dramatic physical changes when she eats pills delivered to her in metal trays. The Little Lady alternates from playful to occasionally creepy  - at our show, it was interesting to see the reactions of a little girl every time creepy came out -  but she’s always endearing in her childlike way.

There isn’t much more to say. This is a fun little story, designed and told by somebody who was very well trained and knows what she’s doing. Four.

- by Allan Mackey

Kurt Shantz

About Kurt Shantz

Kurt Shantz is a Theatre and Scriptwriting graduate and an occasional Should You See It reviewer. He currently works as a warehouse clerk, but has big aspirations of someday achieving his dream of becoming a senior warehouse clerk. He's also been known to write on occasion.

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