Fringe 2015 review: "The Road Less Gravelled"

by

comment
Outport Productions presents "The Road Less Gravelled" at Orlando Fringe. - IMAGE VIA WANDACARROLL.COM
  • Image via wandacarroll.com
  • Outport Productions presents "The Road Less Gravelled" at Orlando Fringe.
Thousands of snowbirds from Canada come to Orlando every year seeking sun, but Wanda Carroll is a self-described penguin, bringing down a frosty flurry of funny stories from her Newfoundland home. The writer-performer of “The Road Less Gravelled” comes from Conche, a seaside village of 300 souls on the impoverished Atlantic island that only joined the Canadian federation in the 1940s. Growing up in a town without paved roads, electricity or even indoor plumbing – she first heard of a flush toilet 1972, and didn’t taste fresh pineapple until age 10 – inspired Carroll with an irrepressible desire to get the hell out, a goal she’s accomplished as an award-winning Fringe monologist.

Carroll’s childhood anecdotes mine mirth from misery, like a cross between Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon stories and Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes (minus most of the dying). You wouldn’t think that tales of almost being burnt to a crisp as an infant, kissing her dead grandmother’s corpse, or getting her first dentures as a grade-schooler would be a laugh riot. But Carroll’s light touch takes the sting out of her underprivileged upbringing, leaving behind the beauty of a close-knit community and a sure-fire folk remedy for removing warts.



My only fear is that Carroll’s soft-spoken brogue isn’t showy enough to stand out in the Fringe’s crowded field of solo shows; she could sometimes could barely be heard over the Red venue’s air conditioning. That would be a shame, because hers is a voice that’s worth hearing.


"The Road Less Gravelled"
Outport Productions – Toronto, Canada

Venue: Red
Length: 60 minutes
Rating: 13 and up
Price: $11 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.