In “Five and a Half Feet of Fearsome”, Shannon Savard combines comedy, puppetry, confessional, and disparate other elements to talk a little about life in the trans community, and most particularly their own experience as genderqueer. Purportedly a secret meeting of gender outlaws to iron out the dreaded “Trans Agenda”, the show slowly morphs into an autobiographical piece about growing up, trying to figure out quite where you stand, and how to deal with it when you don’t quite fit in the readily available boxes.
Savard is a gifted performer, quickly winning the audience over with their wit and delivery. They bring the audience along slowly, step by step, guiding them by use of metaphor and personal narrative to understand what it is to be not quite what the world expects of you. Probably the most affecting moments are when the people around them refuse to take their wishes seriously, or outright disregard them. As someone who has faced similar treatment from persons who were meant to be professionals, I can attest to how frustrating and dehumanizing this can be.
Overall, Savard’s show is just the sort of thing one hopes to see at the Fringe Festival. As this reviewer left the venue, she reflected – not for the first time – that it is a pity the people who could stand the most to see shows like this, are the ones least likely to do so. To everyone else, however, the show is absolutely recommended.