I’m Thinking About Thinking About Crying: Diary of a blind man who couldn’t cry but could see

I’m Thinking About Thinking About Crying
Venue: Fanshawe Theatre
Troupe Name: Theatre Ramen
Troupe Origin: London, ON
Playwright: Gary Kar-Wang Mok
Featuring: Sean Jacklin
Warnings: Mild language
Audience: 14+
One-man show with
Show Length: 45min
Performances: Fri., June 7 - 9:30 p.m., Sun., June 9 - 3:30 p.m., Mon., June 10 - 9:00 p.m., Thurs, June 1 - 6:30 p.m., Sat., June 15 - 7:30 p.m., Sun., June 16 - 5:00 p.m.

The show info tells us this is a “Drama”. I asked the playwright opening night, “Is this a drama? ‘Cause I laughed reading the program notes.” Gary Kar-Wang Mok told me it does have humour as played by the actor in this one-man show, Sean Jacklin.

Am I the only one that approaches one-man shows with some trepidation? That is until I read the synopsis here: “Will you cry when you learn your father has died? I think I will want to eat a spicy bean burrito.”  

We also learn that the son who has lost his father is rummaging through his attic reminiscing about their relationship. That isn’t what intrigued me. It is the fact that the 30-something son has never cried.

It’s not brain science to figure out that this play will teach me a thing or two about the playwright. Especially when the playwright’s note tells us he never cried when his grandmother died.

Early on the son tells us, “Life is all about crying.”

I liked how the playwright and his actor take clichés and own them instead of avoiding them. They come out left, right and centre but in this play they are not irksome. In lesser hands, this would have an audience rolling their eyes.

And then there are the ironic moments: “What is the big deal about talking?” This from a guy who is talking to us for 45 minutes!!

Jacklin talks and talks and talks – all while he rummages the attic naturally, believably. This production also uses a video screen to good effect (despite the technical difficulties - sound, etc. Tech should look into this before the next show). Besides the interesting chatter, Jacklin is such a good physical actor – well, the time just flew by!

It played out like a very creative hetero big kid demanding our attention and as played by Jacklin, deservedly so.

But back to the playwright. I have no doubt he is an intelligent, observant thinker who analyizes everything and everyone relentlessly, but effortlessly. It’s in his DNA. I’m talking every moment, word, syllable, every choice, memory, event.

I’m Thinking About Thinking About Crying plays out like a computer came up with a 45-minute monologue. A man after my own heart!

Ps. You’ll understand my title for this review when you go see this show!

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Donald D’Haene is Online Theatre Editor for The Beat Magazine. Check beatmagazine.ca regularly for our coverage of London Fringe! And read my lastest DISH with a bunch of diva puppets here: https://thebeatmagazine.ca/index.php/dishing-with-donald/1671-an-x-rated-dish-with-avenue-q

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