Grumpus Gets Revenge --- but not really

Grumpus Gets Revenge
Venue #3, McManus Theatre
THEATrePUBLIC, Edmonton, Alberta
Written and performed by Kenneth Brown
Coarse Language; Mature Audience; one-man comedy
Their description: Grumpus is a geriatric terrorist! He’ll confess, but not before the old guy skewers the lazy-minded political thought of the world we live in, and tells us how his own experience with alien abduction gave him a perspective on modern politics that he could never have learned watching TV.
Run Time: 54 minutes
Remaining Performances: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 7:30pm, Friday, June 14, 2013 - 8:30pm, Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 6:30pm

I had really hoped to like this show. I didn’t much.

Oh, the first ten or fifteen minutes were good. They were funny, and they captured the essence of being a grumpy senior pretty well.

But then the play devolved into some weird version of Gulliver-returns-from-the-Yahoos (which I recognized from Jonathan Swift without having to be told, thank you). His use of this material from Gulliver’s travels actually turned me off because it was so blatant – it felt like a cheap knock-off. And then add alien abductions by dolphins?? Gimme a break.  The play ends with rants about politics and economics that both rankled and had little substance.

This show could have been fun. An old man becomes alienated from politics and society and decides to take action. He is arrested and the play begins with his appearance before his parole board. And Kenneth Brown was a fairly captivating actor in this one-man show.

But I cannot believe this same man wrote both Grumpus and Anatolia. Grumpus was a disjointed, silly concoction. So much could have been done with this theme, but we were left feeling …  ehhh.

I hope the playwright will completely redo this before taking it any farther.

/ 4

John Palmer is a senior citizen who was active in 60s causes. He is a former sportscaster, orchestra conductor, photographer, actor, and economist. He now is mostly retired but remains active in music, economics, and acting. He blogs at


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