Fucking Carl: Tellement Fucking Bon

 Caitlin Gowans

I have to admit that for the first couple of minutes of Fucking Carl I was worried that I was in way over my anglo head: this show is not for the light of un coeur Français.  Although this is not the French that I was taught in school, I was immediately taken in by the endearing characters of Jessica (called Jess) and Jason (called Jay) whom I felt as if I knew and had known for awhile.  Louis-Philippe Roy plays the spunky, at times naive, Jess while Caroline Yergeau plays the big hearted, fervently blue collar Jay.  Ordinarily this type of cross gendered casting can veer into over the top or gimmicky stereotyping of the opposite gender but Yergeau and Roy nail the portrayal of their respective characters to create a very sincere and complex on stage relationship.  It’s almost magical to watch Roy strut across the stage in the wonderfully trashy high heel-sneaker-boots while Yergeau tromp around in work boots while adjusting her trucker hat to conceal her long hair.  Costumes could not have been better picked to draw audience into the relationship of Jess and Jay who met during a Kijiji sale involving a pick-up truck, a pack of Player’s light cigarettes, and a 24 of Labatt’s Blue.

Jess and Jay recount their courtship, relationship, and marriage with charm and panache.  Their goal is to show us, the adoption agency, that they are fit to adopt a child.  As Jess and Jay act out important moments in their relationship and bring us through the highest highs and lowest lows, ultimately Jay’s steadfast loyalty and Jess’s way of finding beauty in all things are compelling and elicited a few awwws from the audience (ok, maybe mostly from me).  Written by Roy and Yergeau, this text does a great job of convincing us that the two characters’ love is exactly what is required to raise a child. Kudos must also go to director Kevin Orr, who Ottawa Fringers last saw directing Theatre 4.669’s “Outstanding Production” winning We Glow last year.  With Fucking Carl, this company is a serious contender for the award again this year.