The Receptionist at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

The Receptionist. Photo credit: Melonee Stewart

The Receptionist. Photo credit: Melonee Stewart

The Receptionist by Adam Bock


An interview with Reed McColm.

Describe your show in one sentence.

On a normal day in a typical office, a receptionist skillfully handles the work she is assigned, until the nature of her work becomes too threatening to perform.

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description of your show?

At the start of a typical day in the Northeast Office, receptionist Beverly Wilkins deals effortlessly with ringing phones and her colleague’s romantic troubles. But the appearance of a charming rep from the Central Office disrupts the friendly routine. As the true nature of the company’s business becomes apparent, The Receptionist raises disquieting, provocative questions about the consequences of complicity with evil.

You mention The Receptionist simultaneously alarms and delights. How does the show do both at the same time?

Playwright Adam Bock is a wizard at maintaining the “norm” while subverting our expectations as to what that might be. You’ll have to see the show to see how that tightrope is walked.

It sounds like The Receptionist starts as a light-hearted show and becomes much deeper, delving into the consequences of being complicit with evil. How does the show incorporate humour to make its point?

Humour is utilized early on, as we recognize the mundane life of the office, and cheer Beverly’s methods of running her domain. The show is amusing and comfortable, until it isn’t.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Davina Stewart, Julien Arnold and Kristi Hansen are each Sterling Award-winning actors, well-known to local audiences, and here they’re all giving some of the best performances of their careers. It’s tremendous fun to watch them interact and work at the top of their game.

The 36th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 17 – 27. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca .

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