Saw another highly entertaining, and thought-provoking, solo show at Toronto Fringe yesterday: Zabrina Chevannes’s A Nurse’s Worst Nightmare at the Theatre Passe Muraille TPM) Backspace. I missed this show when it featured in the 2015 Soulo Theatre Festival in May, so was very happy to catch it on the Fringe program before I was totally booked up.
It’s a lemonade from lemons tale of taking some unhappy – and at times dark and desperate – circumstances (like Chevannes’s Jamaican dad does when her older brother lands in a Mexican prison – he learned Spanish!) and turning it into comedy. A married single mom (whose husband is little to no help, and struggling with perceptions of reality), Chevannes works as a nurse at a nursing home – and when she’s not dealing with advances from handsy old men, she’s coming up with hysterically imaginative explanations for her two young kids about the Tooth Fairy and menstruation. The nightmare comes in her struggles with her husband’s mental illness, navigating his increasingly dangerous delusional, paranoid behaviour while trying to help him and keep it all together at home.
Dark times become comic fodder as stand-up meets storytelling in the hilarious autobiographical solo show A Nurse’s Worst Nightmare.
Bad news: A Nurse’s Worst Nightmare closed yesterday. Good news: Chevannes is a local GTA gal (from Brampton), so keep an eye out for future performances, including the comedy show Things Black Girls Say.