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VALERIE’S REVIEW: The Pit @ Ottawa Fringe 2013

The Pit is a funny, absurd look at what happens to a couple when their relationship becomes too routine. It’s delivered with energy and has an emotional core that may take you by surprise. 

ThreeMartin Dockery and Vanessa Quesnelle play a couple who must escape a pit - literally and figuratively. Along the way, they try to recover what they’ve lost; they’ve forgotten how they met, why they love each other and who they really are within the drudgery of routine. They run into two other characters, Mr. Flex-It and Swiss Miss, who help them (sort of) on their journey.

The Pit has some interesting things to say about stasis in a relationship; one of the characters can’t get out of bed and the other is incapable of picking out an outfit for work. Martin Dockery delivers an energetic, charismatic performance, Vanessa Quesnelle is charming and they have a chemistry that lights up the stage - and they do it all in their pyjamas!

Both performers do a great job of transforming a vast, empty stage into whatever they need it to be, including an idyllic outdoor landscape. These two are so good that when they mime eating fresh berries from a bush, you can almost see the juice staining their fingers.

However, I do wish that I had seen this before The Bike Trip. Although I do feel that it’s unfair to compare the two since they’re completely different, I can’t help it. While The Pit is funny and touching, I didn’t connect to it as much. Nevertheless, long-term couples will definitely relate to what Quesnelle and Dockery are talking about; sometimes if you’re in a relationship long enough, you lose yourself a little, and you have to fight to get it back - which is exactly what the characters are doing here.

But that’s just my opinion and I really would like to know what you think. Tell me in the comments below!

For more information on The Pit, check out our preview article.