Thank U, Ex is a wonderfully written and directed play starring Kelly Taylor. The play takes a retrospective approach at dating throughout childhood, teen years and twenties. While it is set against the ever so nostalgic background of the 90s, the play does not miss a beat connecting with an audience who wasn’t around for the 90s
An ode to nostalgia
The references throughout the play, as well as sprinkled around the set, come off as endearing rather than dated. Thank U, Ex invites the audience on a journey right at the sweet spot where nostalgia meets engaging storytelling.
The set is full of 90’s memorabilia, including a Barbie doll, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack, Pikachu plushie, Power Rangers action figure, Lisa Frank diary and a fluffy pen.
The play follows the coming of age story of a young girl through her love life. Combining 90’s nostalgia with heartbreak, loss and love. The audience is invited to join Violet (Taylor) as she examines her past relationships, reminisces about her exes and works her way through a whole lot of remembrance.
Firsts, thirds, and life lessons
Taylor’s performance is engaging and keeps the audience’s attention, even through scheduling mishaps causing major voice commotion from the play upstairs. Though the stories she’s retelling are about archetypal boys and stereotypical situations, the combination of good writing, phenomenal direction and captivating acting makes this play beyond appealing and entertaining for the audience.
The combination of video and live performance makes the topic at hand fresh, and the play innovative. Thank U, Ex captures the ups and downs of the most trivial but foundational parts of girlhood—the “firsts”. First love, first kiss, first heartbreak.
At least somewhat inspired by real life events, the play is relatable but keeps it light and funny. Violet carries the audience through a timeline of crushes and experiences. With multiple references to Sex and the City, Boy Meets World and Friends, along with the song No Scrubs by TLC, the audience is walked through quintessential coming of age experiences. This invites viewers to look back into the nostalgia of their own love lives.
After the show, when asked if she wanted to say anything about the play Taylor stated this was her “third Fringe, best Fringe,” and she “really enjoyed the process”.
While the play in general was marvelous, perhaps the most remarkable quote was, “If a fuckboy sends you flowers, throw away the note and leave the flowers on a random person’s doorstep. It’ll make their day and confuse them.”
And honestly, who doesn’t love a little bit of harmless chaos.