Fringe Review 'Roller Derby Saved My Soul'

by

comment
'Roller Derby Saved My Soul' at the Orlando Fringe
  • 'Roller Derby Saved My Soul' at the Orlando Fringe
I've seen plenty of death-defying acts at Fringe already this year, but none quite as impressive as Nancy Kenny's ability to roller-skate in endless circles around the postage-stamp Black Venue stage while delivering hilarious and touching monlogues without tumbling off into the audience. I know nothing about roller derby beyond what I learned from the Drew Barrymore film Whip It, but Kenny's one-woman confessional, Roller Derby Saved My Soul, was delightful enough to make me entertain the idea of attending a match.
Roller Derby Saved My Soul
Broken Turtle Productions – Ottawa, ON, Canada
5 DATES THROUGH MAY 27, 2016
Venue: Black
Length: 60 Min
Price: $11 
Rating: 13 & Up – Mature Language
Buy Tickets
To be honest, Kenny won me over to her side long before she strapped on her skates, as the opening scene had her sitting alone on her couch eating popcorn chips (which she generously shares with her audience) and watching a crucial seventh-season episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wishing she too could be a lone-wolf superhero. Eternally jealous of her uber-talented younger sister, Kenny joins her sis's skating league on a whim, eventually working her way up from insecure newbie to top-scoring player. 

The roller derby rules read a lot like those of Quidditch, and remained equally confusing to me after Kenny's explanations, but no matter – the ecstatic empowerment she feels on the skating track is as invigoratingly infectious as her geeky pop-culture references (like a delirious slapstick dressing sequence set to Meco's disco Star Wars theme) are endearing. Nancy Kenny's Roller Derby Saved My Soul provides all the pleasure of a well-placed hip-check, minus the pain of getting fishnet-patterned road rash.


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.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.