Spent the first part of the evening berated by a litany of accusations from two characters I certainly didn’t like all that much — a man about to be zapped in an electric chair, followed by Jesus on cocaine (or so it seemed?!) — it was great to be in the theatre! In all serious, the two one–man pieces, Preacher Man and Jesus. Again. were provocative in content and drastically different in their outward theatrics. Yet we really followed two misunderstood/standing sons, and their respective relationships with their fathers which were not, shall we say, healthy. The stories, in the end, were quite similar in structure/arc, while the telling of the tales – and it’s the form of the telling which stands out most – found the playwrights, Jesse LaVercombe (aka Jesse Guest) and Step Taylor, exploring very different landscapes.
The first half, admittedly, was my favourite portion of the evening – seeing each of those pieces was almost enough to swallow for the evening though. The subject matter is not light, although there are laughs (both hilarious and uncomfortable), but the shows engaged you directly so you were intimately involved and almost tied into the drama in such a way that was, well, exhausting. A great experience in the BlackBox.
We were then treated to what seemed like a bonus on top of what we’d already witnessed. Donny’s Second Book, written by the two playwrights, was the story of two brothers. The story had heart, wit, and many clever lines and running jokes that built nicely through the piece – numerous laughs. The show was, however, in its more natural world, something of a comfort after the opening half. I was already drained, and on some level I didn’t engage as much with the brothers’ story. It was a fun and hilarious way to end the evening hearing, as the lights went down, “Smell my armpit!” – you’ll just have to go see the shows to know how it all builds to that moment … it’s well worth the journey through the evening.
Be sure to check out Fancy Boys Theatre Companys production THANK GOD. THANKS DAD!! A collection of 2 one-act plays running at the STU BlackBox tonight and tomorrow night (Fri-Sat) @8pm.
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