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Storytelling on stage requires the right kind of energy to maintain the audience’s attention. Carlyn Rhamey’s enthusiastic delivery of her travels in SAOR supplies the right kind of clever laughs while portraying the ups and downs of sporadic travel. Rhamey exuberantly owns the show from beginning to end; the show kicks off with her summarizing her wacky habits all while frantically using a whiteboard as a frame of reference, she even throws in a prop or two without ever going overboard. From there the audience is supplied with a tale of her excursions across Ireland and Scotland, with all of the awkwardness, boldness and tenderness that comes from youthful travel. Her quick wit and charm keep the show’s pace moving fast yet sadly the show makes a few too many narrative detours that detract from the overall story. SAOR is an enthralling tale of adventure, humour and romance yet sadly loses itself in its many themes at times. Reviewed by Jake Pesaruk.


Gig City


Total Score
3.5/ 5

Reader Rating
12 total ratings



Dates / Times:
  • 11:15 pm - 2017/08/18
  • 12:30 pm - 2017/08/21
  • 6:45 pm - 2017/08/22
  • 9:15 pm - 2017/08/24
  • 2:30 pm - 2017/08/25
  • 4:00 pm - 2017/08/27

Posted 2017/08/22 by



2 Reviews


    SAOR is a one-woman show that’s an exercise in comedic intimacy. Writer-performer Carlyn Rhamey has a delightfully daffy stage presence as she acts out scene after scene of embarrassment and failure in her life, relating professional and personal catastrophe with a cheery amusement that captures both the hilarity of these memories and the mortification of having lived through them.

    There’s a scattershot structure to SAOR as Rhamey hopscotches back and forth between past and present to establish her persona while providing smooth transitions between time periods. And it’s a format that Rhamey maintains throughout her play as she shifts into her main plot, a trip across Ireland, England and Scotland.

    At first, the trip seems like an effort to escape her neuroses and uncertainties back home. But as Rhamey leads her audience through numerous accidents with luggage and hostel showers and travelling across fields of sheep excrement, Rhamey shows how she hasn’t left her problems in Canada; instead, they’ve followed her through the United Kingdom and found new and unnerving ways to manifest.

    What’s particularly striking is how Rhamey exhibits superb comic timing with every joke landing with just the right balance of comedy and humiliation. A horrific moment in a public pool is graphic yet laughable. A costly accident with a toilet is cringe-inducing and hilarious. And throughout the show, Rhamey preserves a highly personal sense of interaction with her viewers. Those seated before her aren’t passive patrons but trusted confidants granted access to Carlyn Rhamey’s inner life, with key moments throughout the production creating the feeling of a conversation even if Rhamey does all the talking.

    There’s also a sense of Rhamey’s mental landscape with anachronic plotting depicting her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, charting an emotional path where recollections come out not in the order in which they happened, but in the order in which they’re triggered. This also rations the amount of background information doled out to the audience and by the end, what initially seemed like a collection of comic anecdotes has been recontextualized into something much more serious.

    The final revelation makes SAOR’s initially jumbled timeline feel like shock and disorientation from a painful impact. What’s particularly impressive is how the ending suddenly changes a lightweight comedy into a thoughtful set of ruminations on loss, identity, agency, and the motivations behind every choice, and even with all these new layers, SAOR is still just as funny.

    Simone hawkley

    What an amazing and heartfelt play about a woman coming of age and traveling around Scotland and England. Wonderful characterizations, full commitment, funny and thoughtful, I highly recommend this one to any millennial.

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