From the opening strums of the guitar to its closing notes, Shit! I’m in Love with You Again delivers a highly polished product that never drops in energy despite its conventional themes.

With the help of guitarist Luke Jackson, Rachelle Elie tells the autobiographical story of her discovery of and relationships with the opposite sex, from the “first time” story to marriage, children, and the descent to the brink of divorce and back. Unlike The Cockwhisperer (playing at Arts Court Theatre), less emphasis is placed on the lack of real sex education (though Elie does mention that her knowledge of sex as a child and pre-teen was pretty much limited to “don’t get raped”), and more on the absurdity of human relationships – everything is ridiculed, from sexual desire to sexual repulsion to the excruciating (or so I understand, based on her very funny and graphic illustration of it) pain of childbirth. Not all is absurd, because like any human relationship there’s the bad as well as the good, and the story becomes much more serious when Elie expresses just how easy it is for a married couple to grow apart after children. Though the title suggests a happy ending, the seeming impossibility of being able to overcome that obstacle looms large and strikes a fulfilling contrast to the lighter humour that dominates during the first half.

Elie is a born performer who never seems to run out of energy – at one point she fell off the stool she was standing on, but recovered wonderfully in the moment. The endless layers of costumes she goes through are an extra touch that provides extra whimsy to a show that recognizes need for such an attitude even through the darker parts. Luke Jackson’s guitar accompaniment provides excellent mood music even if you haven’t seen Love Story or know anything about ‘80s power ballads. Shit! I’m in Love with You Again may not change your life, but it’s certainly a fun ride.

Shit! I’m in Love with You Again

A Crowning Monkey Production

Written and Directed by Rachelle Elie

Music and Accompaniment by Luke Jackson

Running Time: 60 minutes

Playing at The Courtroom (BYOV A)

Wednesday June 24 9:30 pm

Friday June 26 6:30 pm

Saturday June 27 2:30 pm & 10:00 pm

Sunday June 28 5:30 pm

Ian Huffam