C'mon Angie intelligently explores questions of consent

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C’mon, Angie! | Touchstone Theatre | Firehall Arts Centre | May 31 – June 9, 2018

Angie lays in bed in silence. Reed (Robert Moloney) babbles away, talking about mundane things as he gets dressed and ready to leave. Just as he opens the door, Angie (Kayla Deorksen) speaks for the first time and says, “Do you know you assaulted me?” It’s a powerful moment that neither Reed nor the audience expects, and it launches them into an intense discussion of their two perspectives of the events that unfolded the previous night.

To complicate matters, Reed is married to Angie’s boss, and before the assault took place there was a sexual encounter that began as mostly consensual, although it was problematic in its own way as Angie explains, “I shouldn’t have let you the first time, but sometimes it’s just easier.”

“I’m not the type of person you’re describing right now,” implores Reed as he struggles to accept what he’s done. He’s in denial for most of their interaction as the conversation moves around Angie’s small, modestly furnished apartment (set by Sarah Mabberley) and evolves as she desperately tries to get Reed to understand and admit to what he has done.  

Amidst the agonizing conversation, playwright Amy Lee Lavoie has written gems of humour. When Angie takes a break from the discussion to put on a CD and Reed questions her choice of music, she says “Sorry, my post-assault CD is scratched.”

In light of the #MeToo movement and conversations of what constitutes consent, this play is extremely relevant and raises many questions as we’re shown just how someone could conceivably rape someone and not have any understanding of what they’ve done. Reed describes asking for verbal consent during intimate moments as an “exhausting monologue,” while Angie counters that it’s not that hard to check in, and he didn’t bother. Reed also tries to minimize what happened by saying things such as “It’s just sex, I didn’t kill you.”

Doerksen is vulnerable, seething, and measured at all the right moments, and Moloney plays the naïve man who tries to care but can’t quite get there perfectly. Their interactions are real, authentic, and engrossing. This play is like being a fly on the wall during the most private of conversations and there’s no way you want to leave until it’s over. A timely, important theme; brilliant writing; and stellar performances make C’mon, Angie! an exceptional piece of theatre. Everyone should see this play.

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