The nightmare that Chevannes chronicles in her piece is not an inherently hilarious one. While in an unhealthy relationship with the father of her two young children and working at a nursing home, Chevannes takes us through an intensely escalating situation with her husband, which culminates with him becoming influenced by a religious cult and choking her because he was convinced that she was being unfaithful and performing witchcraft. Yet, in the deft hands of Chevannes, this story becomes an empowering one of both genuine grit and emotion and rapier-sharp wit, that buoys her up and proves that she is the hero of her story.
Chevannes highlights the utter absurdity of her experiences, while also introducing us to a cast of characters that make that absurdity even more delightful (and sometimes unbelievable) to watch. For example, her telling the story of her brother ending up in a Mexican prison becomes hilarious when contrasted with the reaction of her Jamaican father, who sees the silver lining in every situation. In the same way, as her father sees positivity shining out from overwhelming negativity, Chevannes sees the humour in every situation, and can deftly mine it out in ways that sees audiences laughing about babies born with extra fingers, racist old people, and autistic older sisters, all of which are not commonplace subjects for hilarity, but prove that it is all about how a joke is framed that controls the majority of its reception.
Chevannes is an endearing and charming storyteller. There is a little bit of room for her to tighten up the arcs of the stories and for director Paul Hutcheson to play even more with specific movement to help bring the stories to life. Overall, however, A Nurse’s Worst Nightmare had me ardently on Chevannes’ side throughout and cheering for her triumphantly at the end.
A Nurses Worst Nightmare plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue) at the following times:
July 03 at 03:00 PM buy tickets
July 05 at 02:45 PM buy tickets
July 06 at 09:15 PM buy tickets
July 07 at 05:00 PM buy tickets
July 09 at 02:45 PM buy tickets
July 10 at 10:30 PM buy tickets
July 11 at 06:15 PM buy tickets