Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: (Montreal) Third Person (Fringe)

On existence
by Élaine Charlebois

In Brandon Wicke’s piece Third Person, a banal setting is used to address and explore the experience of existential crisis. While on a camping trip, George (Kevin Ray) and Byron (Nic Turcotte) discover something quite strange. A stream of writing appears out of thin air revealing itself to be the “Third Person”, an omnipresence which claims to know what the campers will do before they do it. This presence asserts that the outcome of their decisions and actions are predetermined, leaving George and Byron to question the meaning and purpose of life. More specifically, the piece seeks to explore the idea of agency and the power of the individual in the determination of his/her own future. 

Though the subject matter of “Third Person” did not grab me personally, the concept of the show was creative enough to keep my interest throughout the play.  The writings that appeared on the wall behind the actors - at times responding to their dialogue, at times displaying their lines before they spoke them - was very well timed and succeeded in setting an eerie tone to the piece. 

While Kevin Ray was successful in his portrayal of an older brother figure whose beliefs are challenged by the writing’s claims, Nic Turcotte’s Byron, a meek and more passive character, was slightly more believable than Ray’s interpretation. Nevertheless, the personality that each actor brought to their role made for a good on-stage chemistry and kept the audience engaged. 

If confronting the purpose of human existence is your bag, then “Third Person” is the show for you. Enjoy!  

Third Person is at the Montreal Fringe
Read also an interview with director/writer Brandon Wicke about mounting the work

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