Birth, blood & bodies
You ever shove a breathing tube down a man’s throat? Deliver a stranger’s baby? Hit the OR because someone jumped off a bridge? Come see Dr. Melissa Yuan-Innes, MD, master of disaster and mistress of distress, for hilarious, heartbreaking true tales of control vs. chaos.
“CAPTIVATING … masterfully connects moments of humor, nostalgia, grief, confusion, and hope.… I LAUGHED, I CRIED … “—Capital Critics’ Circle
“JOYFUL and HEARTBREAKING”-Apt613
“Ample HUMOUR and COMPASSION.”-Artsfile
“HILARIOUS … POIGNANT.”-CBC News
I was disappointed in the Free Press Reviewer’s stance on this show, it seemed very dismissive– deeming Melissa to be “just not a natural raconteur”. I guess everyone goes to Fringe looking for different things but personally, I loved that the show was a bit strung together and perhaps loose or seemingly clumsy at times. Melissa has not trained as a performer, she has trained as a doctor. Here we get a real doctor’s experience from working in the ER, not the overdramatized, polished and often unrealistic storylines we get on TV. Rigid, encrusted, trauma-perpetuating systems such as healthcare desperately need more doctors like Melissa, this woman is clearly playful. Where else is a playful doctor going to share her stories other than Fringe? She has something interesting and authentic to offer and share with her audiences, and a decidedly unique offering for Fringe. This medical doctor literally danced around with a skeleton model and made up new words about working in the ER to the tune of the Ghostbusters song! Does anyone understand how truly rare this is?? It was utterly quirky and delightful. Melissa is pushing some boundaries here and she’s clearly trying to flip the script–something the world desperately needs more of right now.
Before the show she also did “a different kind of land acknowledgement” as she put it where she described witnessing the horror of blatant and violent racism towards Indigenous people during a recent bus ride in Winnipeg, and she was making a point about how we have a long road to walk towards Truth and Reconciliation. Melissa tells it like it is. In and out of performing, her candor was refreshing, her vulnerability and willingness to put herself out there was endearing and tender. There was no pretence to her, and if we are interested in going to theatre in search of the truth, then Melissa’s approach is to be admired.
Loved the show. The stories really made me feel something. Funny and heartfelt worth a watch
Writer and performer Melissa Yuan-Innes is not a professional actor. She’s an emergency room doctor who has a lot of engaging stories to tell. She quickly pulls the audience into her world with stories that range from joyful to heartbreaking.
In spite of being an amateur, Yuan-Innes pulled off a Best of Fest award at the 2019 Ottawa Fringe.