REVIEW: Mabel’s Last Performance @ Ottawa Fringe 2012

Mabel’s Last Performance sees former stage performer Mabel combat Alzheimer’s in a nursing home where she fights against a retirement she’s not yet ready for.Should you see it?

Kathie Langston is Mabel, an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s all alone in a nursing home. Mabel was a lady who enjoyed the stage before her ailment, and decides to stage one last performance, a harrowing escape from the nursing home. Kathie Langston is a phenomenal actress who commandeers the stage with a presence that illuminates her one-woman show.

While the content of her play is extremely somber and deep, Langston’s Mabel carries a charm that makes her instantly likeable. There aren’t many negatives surrounding this production, it was beautifully put together and wonderfully staged, the only thing that may drag it down – and this only will be an issue for some audience members – is the content itself. The play is only an hour runtime, but with the way Mabel’s Last Performance approaches the pain and heartache of Alzheimer’s, the play sits heavy on the audience.

When it comes to the play itself, like it, love it, or leave it, it doesn’t matter because we can all agree that Kathie Langston is one talented performer that we should be seeing more of, more frequently. Without someone as strong and as talented as her there is a good chance that this play could have failed – instead I was engaged and captivated by her essence and character and wanted to continue to dive deeper into who Mabel really was with her. For Kathie Langston’s amazing performance: four.

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Matthew Champ

About Matthew Champ

Matthew Champ is the lead movie reviewer for Production Ottawa's Should You See It team, making sure that you know whether or not these movies or plays are worth spending your time or money on.

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