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From 10 critic and 27 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Great writing, Funny, Absorbing

About the show

With rapid-fire comedic dialogue and a mind-bending plot, this fast-moving one-act play about two old friends who find themselves trapped at an annual holiday party toys with our sense of time and identity.  More…

It soon becomes apparent that everything is not as it seems, as secrets and betrayals are exposed just as quickly as the duo's inability to remember them. To reveal anything more would ruin the fun.

Part of Soho Playhouse's 2018 Fringe Encore Series.

Front Row Center

“'Inescapable' is diverting and well performed but fails to take us anywhere. In its brevity it feels more like an exercise than a finished product. Paterson and Dockery give it all they’ve got, keeping the energy going with fast paced dialogue and clear focus. They do build to one emotional moment. It is a much welcome pause. You think maybe the silence will restart the engine but drive the piece in a different direction. Alas, we just go back to the beginning, with no reprieve.” Full Review

On Stage Ottawa

for a previous production “A truly remarkable piece of theatre that relishes in its exquisitely circular nature. All points come back to one. Repeatedly...It gets off to a slow start but starts to pick up speed to a crazed, fevered, emotional pace, before the perhaps inevitable and certainly tragic ending...Intricate and brilliant...This is a show best experienced not knowing too much about it and not having any preconceived notions.” Full Review

Mooney On Theatre

for a previous production "Features an amazing pair of actors...So perfectly intricate, witty, and well rehearsed. Paterson and Dockery, from the moment the lights came up, were a match made in heaven, providing each other plenty of energy to build off of...The script was repetitive but brilliant in its anecdotes and subtleties...A short, 45 minute piece, so rich in the story’s ability to get across the kind of lives these men lived and what their aspirations were.” Full Review

On Stage Ottawa

for a previous production “Although the premise of this play hinges on repetition, it kept me intrigued the entire time. With each ‘loop’, another tidbit of information is revealed, eventually uncovering a backstory of lies and deception and creating conflict between the characters, which seeps into the next loop despite their inability to remember what they were fighting about. Dockery and Paterson were incredibly convincing in their roles and both exuded an energy that made the hour fly by.” Full Review

Orlando Weekly

for a previous production “A tense, brain-twisting drama...’Inescapable’ reminded me of a less perplexing version of the sci-fi film ‘Primer’, or a lost ‘Twilight Zone’ episode...It lacks the romantic magic-realism glow of Dockery's previous plays performed with Quesnelle, replacing it with testosterone-fueled propulsiveness. Thanks to its tantalizingly enigmatic script and compulsively engaging performances, ‘Inescapable’ will have you crying, ‘What's in the box?’ like Brad Pitt in ‘Seven’." Full Review

Edmonton Sun

for a previous production “A hilarious non-stop, high-energy, rapid-fire 45 minute dialogue that is really about, well, nothing. A sort of ‘Groundhog Day’ meets ‘No Exit’ meets ‘Waiting for Godot’ meets… just about anything you want...The two actors are well paired as each are adept, talking at a blistering pace, and much of the humour comes from their complete belief in what they are saying – wonky though it is.” Full Review

Edmonton Journal

for a previous production “In this circular buzzsaw of a play...The continuous Mobius loop is spinning, fast and furious...And Dockery and...Paterson are going at it, full-throttle full-volume...’Inescapable’ is Groundhog Day on speed...with high-octane, expertly cross-hatched performances to match...It gives off tiny, glinting revelations...And, thanks to the intricate infrastructure devised by Dockery, a mid-life crisis story of betrayal and lost possibility emerges without getting told...Mesmerizing.” Full Review

Now Toronto

for a previous production “A riveting two-hander that keeps you engaged right from the first burst of rapid-fire dialogue, ‘Inescapable’ is another winner from Fringe regular Dockery...The show and its meandering conversation might seem like a take on ‘Waiting For Godot’. The key conflict soon emerges to give both Dockery and Paterson room to invigorate their characters with an emotional heft that carries the show to its twist ending...The kind of show you will want to see again right away." Full Review

The New Ottawa Critics

for a previous production “A two-hander about a moment that never ends. Sadly, it does for the audience...Both Dockery and Paterson give riveting performances...The script is sinuous and natural in its cyclical pattern, flowing in waves of tension that rise and fall...The actors rise to the challenge of performing similar scenes in a unique manner, making each into a fresh contest of wills, as the profound discomfort of their characters rises, and the audience gains a larger glimpse of the inescapable elephant in the ... Full Review

Orlando Sentinel

for a previous production "Paterson joins Dockery in this tale of a holiday party gone awry, and his focused yet natural acting style meshes impeccably with Dockery’s amped-up energy. In the story, Dockery’s unnamed host finds an old pal looking at a mysterious box...Quesnelle’s direction let us see this mysterious box that isn’t there. And although the physical action doesn’t pick up much, in Dockery’s usual style as the words fly faster, and more bits of the puzzle are revealed, the tension increases.” Full Review

Clever, Delightful, Great writing, Elegant, Intelligent

See it if you like smart writing & brilliant thinking. Seems like a show that other playwrights would especially like.

Don't see it if you want a more earnest story. This is so much compact & cold wit wrapped up in a big bow for you. Also it's 2 guys arguing in a black box.

Also This made me so happy. ... Read more Read less

Funny, Very smart, Satisfying, Dizzying, Well played

See it if you'd like to experience the post-modern equivalent of a supremely funny, extended Abbott & Costello routine.

Don't see it if you are looking for a drama & not a (brilliantly written & played) comedy routine.

Also The dialog in the very funny, very smart 2-hander, "Inescapable," is n... Read more Read less

Groundhog day meets waiting for godot meets who's on first at twilight zone, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Great acting

See it if you enjoy the kind of mental gymnastics that some of Stoppard's work can deliver. This is brief, engrossing, brain-tickling and fun.

Don't see it if You want a deep or complex plot -- not happening in 65 minutes. Only two actors, who master complex dialogue on a par with Elaine May.

Funny, Confusing, Entertaining

See it if you'd love to see Seinfeld and Kramer in a circular conversation about not much. Great chemistry between the actors.

Don't see it if You want an interesting plot - there is no plot really. It's confusing at the start, but still funny once you go with it.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Funny

See it if want quick witted and energetic theater

Don't see it if are expecting a long deep story

Funny, Great writing, Clever, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if you like absurdist or magical realist shows that look like a simple package but have layers of wrapping. You like your comedy with a twist.

Don't see it if You aren't a fan of repetitive dialogue.

Also While this show is brief, and in some ways you can guess what might ha... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Refreshing

See it if You like David Ives plays. ;)

Don't see it if Don’t like to think to much watching a play.

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Edgy, Confusing by design

See it if You enjoy plays where you discover the story along w/the characters. You like plays w/sci-fi elements. You want riveting story & performance

Don't see it if You don't want to do any work to figure out what's happening. You don't like sci-fi storylines. You prefer shows w/bigger production values.

Tightly written and performed, Great writing, acting and direction, Clever, Entertaining, Intricate and dizzying

See it if You're up for sharp subtle & witty writing—yes, "Who’s On First?" crossed with Beckett—expertly performed & directed.

Don't see it if If you need linear plot or length; this is a tight fully committed & layered one act or even exercise, but terrific.

Also What first seems like deliberately banal dialogue combined with static... Read more Read less

Clever, Funny, Great acting

See it if You want to get totally exasperated with this silly argument that goes on in circles. Great acting, funny, and not that long.

Don't see it if You don't want to watch two people have an argument.

Clever, Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if You like shows that play as much to your brain as to your sense of humor, are kind of quirky in a great way

Don't see it if You like a conventional narrative, you don't want to have to pay deep attention for every minute of the (hour-long) show

Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious, Entertaining, Intense

See it if you are a fan of fringe theater and are interested in non-traditional plays that challenge you to try to figure out what is going on.

Don't see it if you: have no interest in exploring male friendship; dislike rapid-fire dialog; have very high expectations; are uncomfortable w/uncertainty.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you like light entertainment about anything that may be about something or nothing at all but ends up being about everything between these 2

Don't see it if you are bored with a dialogue between two characters with no props and are frustrated with repetitious talk about one thing that evolves.

Great acting, Slow, Indulgent, Semi-clever, Thought-provoking

See it if you like My Dinner with Andre-type show that's not as intelligent

Don't see it if you can't stand repetition

Clever, Entertaining

See it if You like SF stories that start as non-SF stories. You like time loops. You like funny plays. You enjoy slow reveals.

Don't see it if You hate Canadian accents. You don't like one acts without resolution.

Circular conversation

See it if you're in the mood for a 45 minute circular conversation between 2 men; an excellent acting exercise.

Don't see it if you get frustrated when the conversation seems to go nowhere but in repetitive circles. It sounds way more interesting than it is.

Clever, Entertaining, Great writing

See it if Buddy roundelay play go 'round and 'round. Fast and furious and Fringey and fun for forty-five minutes. Blokes in a box.Buddy roundelay play

Don't see it if Altered buddies are little Cheechy and Chongy. No-effort set. Godot could stand the wait. Blokes in a box.Buddy roundelay play go 'round and

Absurd, Clever, Edgy, Weird/funny/confusing all-in-one

See it if you are open to something very different that will keep you engaged as you try to figure out what is going on.

Don't see it if you don't like scripts that are not completely clear; or prefer big productions with sophisticated staging

Also I think the two actors pulled this off rather well - partly by the hum... Read more Read less

More of a sketch

See it if Enjoyed the acting and the premise was clever. Well written dialogue. Sort of a "Who's on First" meets "Waiting for Godot"

Don't see it if I wouldn't have wanted to pay full price for this show. Better to combine with another Fringe Encore offering for a full night.

"it's déjà vu all over again!", Circular narrative, Entertaining, Very "fringe", Comedic in a "who's on first?" kind of way

See it if you like indie Fringe plays where it's more about the performance than about the staging, costumes, music; you enjoy rapid-fire dialogue

Don't see it if plots without a big pay-off annoy you; repetitious dialogue bores you; you prefer rom-coms; you don't care for a bare-bones show

Also A recursive round about "what's in the box?" kick-starts this comedic ... Read more Read less

Fringe show-tagging recommended / entertaining, Intimate theater w/minimalist set (table & 2 chairs), Long quirky set-up / predictable twist / abrupt ending, Funny absorbing rapid-fire dialogue / feels improvy, Exciting / riveting / intense / dizzying / high-energy

See it if you'd enjoy a very short (45, NOT 65min) comedic high-energy circular conversation between 2 semi-drunk &/or high friends @ a house-party.

Don't see it if you frustrate easily & want to see it all come together & resolve after a few minutes. Feels like a humorous never-ending SNL or MadTV skit.

Also Hard to critique opening-nite w/o sounding harsh.... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if You like & support Fringe Festival, like repetitive words fired to each other by two actors, smart dialogues but for some it might bore

Don't see it if You do not like bare bone, two actor play ina small theater. You will feel like deja vu(just like characaters) for each dialogue

Glad we only paid $8/ ticket, Slow, Indulgent, Not twilight zone, Meh

See it if There's nothing on TV

Don't see it if You're expecting great Theatre


See it if You want to see a well thought out comedy that most likely will not make you laugh but will hold a smile on your face for 45 minutes

Don't see it if You are expecting a full length play. This is part of a festival and from when I can tail the best play at this festival

Also This play is not an hour and five minutes as indicated here it’s only ... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid, Quirky, Like/man/dude

See it if You like super short (35min) one act plays with an interesting concept and occasional brilliant moments

Don't see it if You don't want every third word to be "like" "Man" or "dude". Starts slow and picks up but I called every "twist" and was bored.

Cast & Creatives (4)