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Talk to the Hand: Fringe Next (Review)

By Stacy Sims · June 4th, 2011 · Fringe
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Talk to the Hand is a support group, I mean theatrical work, by students from Ft. Thomas, Ky. (The production is one of three FringeNext works written, directed and performed by high school students.)

This snappy satire, written by Jessica Ervin as a senior project at Highlands High School, brings the audience into the experience of attending a “friends and family” open meeting of LHPSGBCW. That’s “Left-Handed People’s Support Group for the Community and the World.” You receive a “Hello, my name is …” nametag when you arrive, and the actors are already in full support group mode.

Lily and Leo, a married couple, lead the meeting.

Lily clearly leads the marriage and everything else with her super bossy, Type-A ways. When newcomer Abbey arrives late she is chastised: “Punctuality is key.”

We quickly learn the particular hardships of these left-handers: Michael is addicted to left-handed books, Felix gets called southpaw at work by his colleagues, old Georgia can’t knit for her grandchildren, whacked-out Delilah messes up her beloved paintings, cute kid Simon can’t play ball. At first, it is unclear why popular and nice Abbey is there. She is reluctant to go for the full reveal to the support group. In the end, it all makes sense and we learn that the clever support group tag line “Only-left handed people are truly in their right minds” might not be entirely true.

The ensemble is fully committed to the support group vibe, and the pre-show ritual is engaging as is the solidarity gesture the audience makes to support Delilah, who insists on lying on the floor while she talks. At close, one of the ensemble members asked the other Fringe artists in the audience to raise their hands to give them a shout out. These were nice touches to round out an enthusiastic theatrical experience from these “nice” (a virtue that is revealed to be important in the 45-minute play) young actors.



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