Paleoncology – Review

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Lea is going through a transitional time in her life. She quit her job and moved back in with her parents. They have gotten her to see a counselor, because she is in her late twenties and walks around in a dinosaur costume. Her older brother is dying from cancer.

This isn’t usually what you would create a Fringe show about. It’s a tough subject and not likely to get a lot of laughs. Kira Hall blends dinosaur puppets, recordings, overhead projections and soliloquy to tell Lea’s story. Her home life, living with her brother and parents. Going to University and dropping out to work as a server, because she doesn’t know what to do with her life. Her complete struggle with her brother’s diagnosis and her dealing with the reality of not having him in her life anymore. It’s all coming to a head for Lea and it has caused her to turn to a thing of comfort: dinosaurs.

Paleoncology is a deftly told, heartfelt story about losing the one person who makes you feel less alone in the world, the person who understands you even though you don’t really talk all that much. It’s a sad narrative and isn’t a happy play, but it very much like life, not all stories are happy.

Hall is talented and puts on a performance that is poignant, without feeling like it is pulling at your heartstrings for the sake of it. Paleoncology is a must see piece at the Calgary Fringe.

Paleoncology is part of the Calgary Fringe Festival. There are three more chances to see it. More information is available online.


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