Emerging from the creative mind of playwright and producer Emilie Biason, I Killed My Ex is a dark comedy that seeks to prompt contemplation on delicate yet significant aspects of contemporary society, including mental health, abuse, and trauma.
At its core lies a trauma – the one of being left at the altar. This sets the stage for the naive Tina (Alexandra Ricou) to find herself in a remote wilderness, searching for a suitable spot to bury her ex-lover’s body, assisted by her best friend, the cynical Lola (Rachelle Grubb).
I Killed My Ex delves into female nature related to love, sex, and even murder by bringing together two contrasting archetypal female figures: the damsel in distress on one side and the dissolute and cynical woman on the other. Weaving comedy and whodunit, the play unfolds through a dense, dynamic dialogue between the two on-stage protagonists. Opposites even in their attire – Lola in black, juxtaposed with Tina still wearing her no longer pristine bridal gown – the two actresses amuse and surprise, breaking the fourth wall on occasion, maintaining a light, humorous, and playful tone as they engage in verbal sparring. Part dark comedy, part bildungsroman, as Tina’s re-evaluation of her past leads to a newfound self-awareness and understanding of the world surrounding her, the play explores traumatic amnesia and the spectre of a haunting past.
However, humour takes precedence, relegating substantial topics like abuse, mental health, and trauma to a mere backdrop, mostly narrative devices lacking depth and often resorting to clichéd stereotypes. The play remains a pleasing form of entertainment, offering a somewhat oversimplified representation of feminism and reflecting an approach that doesn’t fully engage with the more complicated and nuanced contemporary discourse.
I Killed My Ex achieves partial success by deftly intertwining comedy and detective-story at the cost of delving deeper into its socially conscious intentions. While it provides an enjoyable experience, the play occasionally leans on clichés, making it a somewhat effective yet outdated example of feminism, lacking the depth required to engage with the multifaceted discussions of today’s society.