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2018 Fringe Review: Adopted

Adopted reveals family’s endurance through storytelling

In the dark of the El Cortez basement, Adopted settles you into the comfort of friendly anecdotes and life lessons procured by a boy growing up in an adoptive family.

Throughout Adopted, the audience gets the simple pleasure of listening to someone tell personal stories. Creator-performer Adam Dyck relates honest and heartfelt autofictional narratives that anyone growing up in the late 1990s and early 2000s can easily understand. The storytelling tackles a life where family isn’t defined by birth, but by who is willing to nurture a child who isn’t their own.

Unfortunately, the venue is slightly overrun by the reverberation of music and conversation on the floor above. However, once the stories dive into Dyck’s childhood misadventures, the audience’s laughter drowns out the chatter upstairs. The stories build from each other in unexpected ways, and for 45 minutes, the audience bears witness to Dyck’s upbringing. He tackles the vulnerability of being alone as he comes to understand it’s okay to be alone.

The stories don’t always focus on the central topic of adoption, as anecdotes of junior high perils and being a surrogate goat mother take over. However, these stories are wonderful still, and by the end, the audience seems comfortable with Dyck’s simple, honest, and humourous yarns, as well as his calm voice and comic mannerisms.

Adopted reveals family’s endurance through storytelling. Do we understand the importance of family, whatever that may be? The show opens the spectator’s ears to someone else’s heartfelt experience with family, belonging, and raising goats.

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