THEATRE REVIEW: Black Wool Jacket

“Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae in the order Proboscidea. Three species are currently recognised: the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), the African forest elephant (L. cyclotis), and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).” – Wikepedia

As a kinda writer I’ve always been fascinated with the story of things and places. How things came to be and their origins. Not only that but the knowledge that there are millions upon millions of stories that go along with every place imaginable. Where ever there are people there are stories to tell.

But one of the most innocuous places where you wouldn’t think that there are stories to be told is the coat check. I have never given it much thought before as it seems like a straight forward exchange. You hand the clerk your coat and money, and then get a claim ticket. Then, once the show is finished, you return with your ticket to claim your jacket.

But when you add the alcohol and entitlement that comes with the people using the coat check at a nightclub you realize that countless stories could be told.

Natalie Frijia worked at just such a coat check and encountered all facets of humanity. And boy did she have some stories to tell.

Working on her PhD in nothing in particular and a love for elephants (hence the quote above – an inside joke from the show itself) Frijia spun tales of the different people she encountered, how they questioned the cost of checking their coats, losing their claim ticket, and the patron drunkenness that comes with late nights, alcohol, and dancing.

Frijia has a charm and presence on stage. The various tales that we are introduced to short and sweet, as you might expect with the limited interaction in the coat check. But those limited interactions, much like the Black Wool Jacket show, can leave a lasting impression.

What ever happened with the red trench coat lady?

I enjoyed Black Wool Jacket. Natalie Frijia could have detailed her experiences for hours more and I would have been just as captivated. Black Wool Jacket is playing five more shows at Hamilton Fringe this week. Definitely check it out.

About Jason Nason 1914 Articles
I'm the editor of and I love the city of Hamilton. From sports to entertainment, local events and the politics of the city, I will try to bring it here to you!

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