It had to happen sometime. After years of wonderful productions, I just saw the worst Fringe play – no, the worst play in the entire history of theatre. Now I know how people with PTSD feel.
Five minutes into the show, I was looking at my watch.
Ten minutes into the show, I was looking for the fire alarm.
Fifteen minutes in and I was looking at my cell phone messages hoping the usher would ask me to leave, but he was in the back row with his head in his hands. It looked like he was sobbing.
At 40 minutes, the woman next to me asked if I thought she should fake a heart attack. I said, ”Please,” but she chickened out.
I have never walked out of a show, so I remained because I’m no quitter. Besides, I needed to meditate on why God was punishing me.
People tell me I am annoyingly optimistic. Yes, I have one of those mugs that says “The Cup is Half Full.” But even when it’s empty, I say, “Hey, at least I have a cup.” I realized by minute 50 of the show from hell that I needed to recover, do some damage control, and think good thoughts once again.
Bemoaning that I would never get that hour back, I found a pen and paper in my purse and started writing a rap song with words that rhyme with “luck” and “wit”. It was that bad. But then my optimism kicked in and I started to note the good things:
- I was there on a free ticket.
- The seats were comfortable.
- It was air conditioned.
- The play would end eventually. (It went overtime.)
- There was wine waiting for me at home.
- I live in Canada.
The ethical part of me says I can’t bring myself to reveal the title of play or do a review because then the actors’ names will be on the internet forever. Someday, they will have real careers. I can’t be part of all that fallout shame.
If you find yourself a forlorn Fringer, take comfort in knowing you are a survivor and you will live to see great plays another day.