REVIEW: Wanderlust @ Ottawa Fringe 2012

Martin Dockery tells stories from his five-month trip into West Africa, looking for wisdom. Should you see it?

Martin Dockery has had a pretty amazing series of adventures in his life and here in Wanderlust he wants to share one of them with you. In the mid 2000s he decided it was time to get out of an office life before it became his life. He planned and went on a five-month trip across West Africa, including to Timbuktu, in search of just a little bit of wisdom.

Wanderlust runs 70 minutes and sees Dockery on stage the entire time, talking with a vibrancy and energy you just need to see and he works the room non-stop, taking only three or four fifteen-second breaks to get a drink between anecdotes. Another wonderful thing about Wanderlust, and Dockery in general, is his physicality. He actively speaks with his hands and his whole body in a way that seems almost choregraphed or even his own form of intricate sign language. This, let’s call it a dance, is just another way he draws you into his story-telling.

The show is broken down into a handful of anecdotes that are so interesting and amazing and, foreign to a first-world day-to-day experience, that they, in some parts, seem almost unbelievable. And that’s the third reason to see Wanderlust. To live vicariously through some very incredible experiences.

In the end, did Dockery find the wisdom he went looking for? In the end, did it matter? The real message behind Wanderlust is that it isn’t about some grand epiphany as much as finding the little pieces of it that life gives you while you’re searching. For a storyteller with the ability and the stories to keep you enthralled for a full 70 minutes: four.

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Allan Mackey

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!

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