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VALERIE’S REVIEW: Pilot? @ Ottawa Fringe 2013

Four very different people trapped in an airport must find their pilot in order to leave. Little do they know that the game is rigged – literally. They’re actually on a Japanese game show that won’t let them escape until they play along. Intriguing concept, right?

Should you see it?


TwoUnfortunately, the execution of Pilot? is a little flawed. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing; it’s highly possible that this is a show that will get better with multiple representations as the performers get more comfortable with the material.

The real problem that I had with Pilot? is that it didn’t go far enough to be really funny. I like my humor absurd, and it feels like that’s what this show is aiming for. It’s also lacking the crazy energy that’s usually present in Japanese game show. There was only one performer, who played a contestant planted in the game to wreak havoc on the others, that reached the peak of energy I was looking for.

To tell you the truth, I was a little confused. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be rooting for the main characters, feeling sympathy for them or just laughing at their idiocy. The script doesn’t seem to be sure if it wants to be a satire. One character, Phil, is fun but inconsistent; he’s presented as a dumb hick but he occasionally gains smarts when it benefits the plot.

Pilot? has a fair amount of audience participation, like any good game show with a live studio audience. However, it felt a little awkward and like the cast members were uncomfortable with it. The bottom line is that there’s something here, but I would have liked it to be more over-the-top. If you’re going to go for it, go for it!

But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think. Am I missing the point here? Let me know in the comments below!

Pilot? runs June 22nd, 24th, 25th and 28th. For more information and to purchase tickets, check out the Ottawa Fringe website. 


  1. Frequent Fringer says:

    I thought this was an excellent send-up of Japanese game shows. I laughed through the entire show at the ridiculous characters and events.

    It’s the kind of fun you go to Fringe for. Go see it.