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  • Phoebe Robertson

Review: No Hetero

Words by: Phoebe Robertson (she/her)

Picture Credit: Crooked Love Productions

Editor's Note: For the full experience, we recommend reading these reviews together as a double feature. First up is Hadley Wilson's "No Hetero," followed by Rachael Mercer's "Exes and No's." We will also discuss how these two shows complement each other, because when presented with a double feature, why not have a double feature review?

Hadley Wilson's "No Hetero" took the audience on a journey within the cozy confines of Circus bar, cleverly transformed into a campfire setting. The backdrop, resembling a children's book illustration, portrayed a peaceful lake, complete with a jetty and a wide blue sky. This charming setting was used sparingly in relation to Wilson's childhood experience at a religious summer camp in British Columbia. 

"No Hetero" is a celebration of Wilson's journey to queer joy and self-acceptance. The performance touches on themes such as religious identities, relationship-ending vacations, sororities, celebrities, and even a Pinterest board dedicated entirely to attractive women on bicycles. The title phrase "no hetero" is strategically placed towards the end of the show, emphasizing Wilson's ongoing exploration of her identity and showcasing how deeply personal this performance is for her.

Wilson fearlessly shared her life story with the audience, baring all and owning her journey to find her queer identity. Stephen, who joined me for the show, described it as "very millennial," and the crowd was quick to catch on to references and humor throughout. It was a deeply personal performance, and I applaud Wilson for opening up to the audience and exposing such an intimate aspect of herself.

While the show was enjoyable, I found one aspect to be slightly less captivating: the frequent use of a PowerPoint presentation. Furthermore, the focus on stories about other people in Wilson's life made it challenging for me to connect with her as a performer. These elements may have also contributed to Wilson feeling confined to one specific spot on stage. I believe incorporating more of the set and backdrop into the performance would have enhanced the overall experience. For example, when I saw an empty sign post on a fabric backdrop, I expected items to be pinned up onto it as part of another layer of storytelling.

However, the standout aspect of Wilson’s performance was her unique tone. Which I continuously referred to in my review notes as charming. She seamlessly combined elements of stand-up comedy, personal narratives, and storytelling to create an intimate conversation with the audience about her experiences as a queer individual. Some standout moments included an impressive racketball impression and a humorous list detailing her reasons for sleeping with men.

The show's intentional design to reflect Wilson's self-expression was evident in the homemade backdrop and props, as well as interactive elements like handing out friendship bracelets. These details created an atmosphere where dress rehearsal errors, such as slideshow glitches or remote issues, were mostly forgiven by both myself and Stephen, who argued that they added to the overall charm of the show. And if I find myself using the word "charming" frequently in this review, it's because that is the most accurate description of this performance.

As an audience member, I am conflicted about my final thoughts on the show. It was undoubtedly charming, but at times it felt like the distinctive encounter of meeting a fellow queer individual and them pouring out their entire life story to you. As creatives, we must always contemplate how much of ourselves we share with the world and what should remain private. And I wonder if a more polished narrative could have aided Wilson in effectively conveying her personal experiences to a wider audience. Regardless, "No Hetero" resonated with the theme of personal evolution and served as a reminder of the personal expression in art, or maybe just lesbianism. 


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