Taking holy orders, holy smoke: Bad Habits, a guest 12thnight Fringe review by Todd Babiak

Bad Habits, A Little Bit Off. Photo supplied.

Bad Habits(Stage 37, Auditorium at Campus Saint-Jean)

Sister Florence welcomes us postulates in a gruff accent, with a hint of New Jersey. It comes with a warning: entering the convent isn’t easy. Becoming a bride of Christ is not for everyone.

Life in the nunnery may be for one among us: Margarine Tub, a buck-toothed young woman with plenty of energy and a sincere love of the Lord. Sister Florence is sceptical but Margarine is a hard worker — if a bit too curious.

Sister Florence and Margarine Tub ride hoverboards — holy rollers — across the stage, as nuns do. When she is left alone to tidy the convent, singing, “Cleaning up, cleaning up for Jesus,” Margarine breaks one of the only rules: don’t read the bad book.

Enter the funniest, saddest Satan in history.

Amica Hunter (Margarine) and David Cantor (Sister Florence) are veterans of the Edmonton Fringe. Bella Culpa and Beau & Aero were just as funny and charming as Bad Habits, and just as naughty, but this is the first time they have mixed physical comedy with extensive dialogue.

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They’re so charismatic, so silly, and so intelligent it would be a fine hour of entertainment to watch them feed guinea pigs. Their take on religion isn’t satire, exactly, and they aren’t trying to teach us anything, which is a genuine relief. They’re theatre people who know we love theatre, who get their jokes about it, and don’t mind if the penguin sex scene doesn’t advance the plot.

Todd Babiak




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