Current show

Oceanbites Out Loud

6:00 am 7:00 am

Upcoming show

Oceanbites Out Loud

6:00 am 7:00 am

Current show

Oceanbites Out Loud

6:00 am 7:00 am

Upcoming show

Oceanbites Out Loud

6:00 am 7:00 am


CFUV @ UNO: DISSOLVE review

Written by on 05/16/2015

Well before watching DISSOLVE, I knew how topical it was. Stories on rape, particularly in the media, have been widely shared, so imagine my surprise when I learned it was first performed in 2003 as a UBC theatre project. I entered somewhat skeptical, because after reading and talking about it, I already understood the consequences, and I wondered if it would be too obvious a parable.

Based on the actual experiences of its creator, Meaghan Gardner, DISSOLVE chronicles one woman’s devastating night out through the eyes of bystanders — friends who can’t understand why she’s upset, a judgmental neighbour, acquaintances that see her in trouble but do nothing to stop it. The best ally she has is an older doctor who makes some unprofessional assumptions but refers her to someone more knowledgeable when he finally connects the dots.

Emmelia Gordon switches between 14 characters effortlessly, including a bouncer showing a new hire the ropes, a stereotypical sorority girl, an elderly pharmacology instructor, and the personification of common date rape drugs. Gordon is on her feet for almost the entire show, pacing, running, primping. It took a scene for me to buy in to her performance, one where a burly bouncer is showing a new hire the ropes. It could have been shortened, but it moves quickly from there. The serious parts are punctuated by plenty of laughs, largely due to Gordon’s commitment and energy. The sound design, while simple, was well executed. It was almost too on the nose at the emotional climax, but it’s hard to introduce ambiguity into this kind of subject matter.

During the talkback, the mostly older audience asked how they could support victims as their children have grown out of clubbing and their grandchildren are not yet old enough to face such scenarios. Gordon said it was important to emphasize that they can drive someone home from a dangerous situation or just listen, and do so without judgment or conditions. I had hoped that a show like this would reach a younger audience, and I was happy to learn that it is often performed in high schools and universities. For those who are under 19 and exploring their sexuality for the first time, a performance like this is way better than a stilted talk by an awkward teacher repeating a curriculum that focuses on the consequences of pregnancy rather than healthy sexual encounters and relationships. Though it makes the most sense for young people, caretakers should go, too.

—Hugo

Additional shows are at Intrepid Theatre Club.

Sat May 16, 4:00
Sun May 17, 2:00

For more CFUV coverage of Uno Fest 2015, click here.
For ticket info and showtimes, click here.


Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.