Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: (Montreal) Fire in The Meth Lab (Fringe)

When Bathrooms Explode
by Janis Kirshner

Let’s hear it for all the younger siblings who were ever teased, humiliated and embarrassed by their big sister or brother! As über-watchable performer/writer Jon Bennett explains, while in retrospect the elder sibling must know they did mean things, the younger sibling can remember the exact bullying event, often right down to the date and time. Scarring as these events were, most little brothers/sisters still seek love and a good relationship from their unkind but admired elder. 

And it’s from this point that Fire in the Meth Lab takes its cue - with the use of fun visuals, Carl Jung quotes, quiz cards from Australian heart throb Jason Donovan’s board game and the I-can-listen-to-him-all-night Bennett. 

Bad, meth-loving older brother Tim has landed in jail after his beloved bathroom cum meth-lab explodes. Bennett’s quest is to pinpoint just how Tim got to this place in his life. We go through the series of Tim’s various addictions, all with hilarity, insight and heart-warming poignancy. We coo with sympathy hearing Bennett’s torment from Tim, à la The Wonder Years’ Wayne and Kevin, with video footage to match (think the classic moving the car along just as you go to open the door… ) And we rally each time there is a semblance of rapprochement. Along the way, vivid pictures are painted of the rest of the family, who I imagine will make it into future shows from this renowned Australian storyteller.

Jon Bennett will be touring his other shows as well this summer:
Montreal Just For Laughs: Zoofest (July 10 - 17) - Pretending Things are a Cock 
Winnipeg Fringe Festival (July 18 - 28) - My Dad's Deaths 
Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Aug 1st - 25th) - My Dad's Deaths

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