Find Me a Primitive Man @ Montreal Fringe Festival

I'm the first to admit that normally I love British humour. Everything about it – the dry, do-not-take-themselves-too-seriously brand of humour really tickles my funnybone. Whether it is in films or stand up comedy I love it. Unfortunately Marysia's cabaret/stand-up show fell flat on its face. It was so unfunny that I found myself struggling to laugh. Which is odd for me as I love to laugh, so usually I am an easy mark. Too bad!

The act started off with a little history of our female character – Lady Farquahr-Merkin. She is a British woman who has not had much success dating and marrying British men, not surprising as they only show real affection to their dogs and horses, so she has decided to come to Montreal in the hopes that a Canadian man will be the answer to her prayers.

Lady Farquahr-Merkin is a former showgirl who, at one time, was married to a minor member of the British Royal Family. That did not go well, so poorly in fact that she is now legally obliged to be at least 50 feet away from any member of the Royal Family.

Alternating between stand up and cabaret, Marysia is a talented singer (the singing was definitely the highlight of the evening), but the stand up portion did not go over at all. Using simplistic, occasionally crass and obvious humour (like "Men are like canapés as even though they are soggy and have been sitting there for a while we still cannot resist them) maybe the problem was the crowd. Much of the crowd were of the older variety and I don't think they could really relate to her dating humour or found her sex jokes funny. They were not really her type of audience as they were quiet and fairly unresponsive throughout.

The cabaret/singing part did go over well. Marysia would take popular songs like Cole Porter's "Let's Fall in Love", Edith Piaf's "La Vie En Rose" or Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do" and change some of the lyrics to fit into her routine.

The best part of the evening was when Marysia collected from the crowd examples of the best and worst pick up lines they had heard/used. There were plenty of laughs when she read some of these out. The winner was from a girl named Lisa who pick up line was "Hi! I make more money than you can spend". It is not a good night when the audience is funnier than the act.

Marysia knew she was failing (even commenting at one point that groans were better than silence) but carried on like a trooper and did not pull a Janeanne Garafalo (at a Just Pour Rire gig a couple of years ago she just walked off the stage).

All this being said I will never trust that an act coming from the famed Edinburgh Fringe Festival is automatically of high quality again. I hope the rest of the Fringe Festival does better!

Additional Information:
-Website: www.montrealfringe.ca
-Venue Location: 2111 St. Laurent
-Show Schedule: June 14 @ 6:30 p.m
June 16 @ 9:30 p.m.
June 18 @ 9:45 p.m.
June 19 @ 11:59 p.m.
June 20 @ 3:30 p.m.
June 21 @ 8:30 p.m.
-Ticket Prices: Adults $9.00 (+$2 service charge)
Students, Seniors: $7.00

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