Trailers, Credits, Prologues & Epitaphs: And now the obituary
- Written by Donald D'Haene
Trailers, Credits, Prologues & Epitaphs
Troupe Name: Young Deus
Troupe Origin: London, ON
Playwright: Evan R. Bawtinheimer
Featuring: Steve Gorman, Carlyn Rhamey, Kiersten Rozell, Brian Suchorab
Warnings: Coarse Language, Mature Subject Matter.
Audience: Mature Audience (16+)
Venue: The Arts Project
Show Length: 55min
Performances: Frid., June 7 - 9:00 p.m., Sat., June 8 - 1:30 p.m., Mon., June 10 - 8:00 p.m., Wed., June 12 - 9:30 p.m., Sat., June 15- 3:00 p.m., Sun., June 16 - 4:30 p.m.
Spoiler Alert: If you want to see this show without reading a strongly worded reviewer’s opinion, read no further. Consider yourself warned.
The promo material states, “A runaway teen, a husband with severe memory loss, and a nurse with a guilty conscience are victims of a movie theatre shooting. Each of them seeks redemption and recognition in this memory play exploring family, honour, and love.”
Everything and the kitchen sink was thrown into the 15 minute-plus monologues in this script. I asked myself, ‘Would someone who was just shot talk this much? Would one flirt with a police officer tending to them? Is this realistic?’ I decided to go with the flow, giving this company the benefit of the doubt.
Sure, I appreciated the set design, the musical interludes and the revolving set piece. That was clever. And the blood did look real. (Though they could have covered up the gigantic snake of an orange extension cord with a black sheet.)
But I had to suspend belief listening to every monologue in this show.
As an actress was performing all kinds of motions with paint-by-number emotions that did not make sense to me, I gathered at one point she was being treated by a doctor. I prayed that TV’s House M.D. would storm in and tell this patient to, “Shut the F*** up!” deathbed or not.
Oh, a side point…sit on the left side of this ‘house’ if you want to view the first actress’s face during her monologue. If you want to just listen, sit on the right side. I guess one could say that someone dying wouldn’t cheat out in their defense. Now that I mention that, this show was performed for the most part as if there were no audience. The first two actors rarely looked at us and they were delivering seemingly never-ending monologues!
At one point, a performer repeats the words, “Am I dead?” I wanted to yell back, “I’m the one dying out here!” Yeah, can you believe it? For once this reviewer prayed for audience participation!
Oh, my other chuckle of the night: An actor yells out in agony - well he was shot earlier - but instead of that moment having to do with that pain, he says, “I just had a memory!”
Give me strength. After all the yelling in monologue two, the third one almost put me to sleep.
Fortunately, there was more than one show going on by this point folks to keep me awake! It doesn’t take much to please me!
Let me start at the beginning of the other “show”. Within 5 minutes a cell phone rings in the audience. Moments later it goes off again! The guy this time walks out with it, stumbling through chairs not going through the middle aisle probably so that he wouldn’t interrupt (!!) the show. That was one of two laughs I had during this production. I did think, ‘Too bad this interruption did not happen during the loud guns shots that began the show.”
Meanwhile, the players on stage did get points here. After all, they had suffered the interruption in the audience and bravely pressed on!
I just jotted that down in my notes and then I heard a conversation in the booth. A fricken conversation!
And then someone dropped something back stage.
‘Poor actors” I jot down. ‘As if the script weren’t burden enough.’
And just as I had yet another WTF moment in the show going on onstage and jotted it down, one happened that topped the last one so I gave up keeping track. Now those moments I will not spoil for you. But I will say that by then I was wishing I had a cell phone and it would go off so I could have joined the guy who exited.
I began to daydream about the process these actors took to get here when even that was upstaged by the story going on on our side! For, suddenly, an audience member left during the show. Loudly.
Oh, as if both the stories onstage and off couldn’t be topped, the production itself does. The ending...I just can’t go there..heck, this show has to be seen to be believed
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