Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review: (Toronto) Adventure (Fringe)

Derring-do with a hint of bloodlust
Yet what’s it all trying to do?
by Christian Baines
Any play bearing the tagline ‘Trumpets! Knights! Tigers! Holy shit!’ probably isn’t going to be the most thematically cohesive of evenings, so with that in mind, we sign on for Adventure!, brought to us by our ‘Good Friends’ Matthew Gorman and Gillian Lewis.
This profane and violent little tale carries the tone of what one might stumble onto while channel-surfing at 3am. Chivalry and silliness, interspersed with moments of ‘Mother of God!’ Or it might be a group of friends who abandon adult self-consciousness, yet retain adult desires, selfishness, cruelty and depravity as they raid the medieval costume box in an attic that probably should have stayed locked.

Gorman qualifies the work as a mutation of cast-offs from a previous play, Like A Dog. And let’s be honest, it shows. After a solid first act, in which the laughs are consistent, and the writers’ bloodlust surprising and fun to watch unfold, Adventure! reveals that it really has no idea where it’s going or why. It’s like a strange dream that holds you rapt, believing its every move. Then it becomes more and more abstract until it snuffs itself out and you wake up.
Not that it isn’t fun, at least for a while. One might even call it an entertaining nightmare, such is the gusto and energy of its cast. It’s a pleasure to partake for a bit, but over an hour, it becomes wearing.
Gorman, in his director’s note, observes “It’s about having a hell of a good time and making a lot of noise and wearing a pretty frock. Because that’s why we all go to the theatre.” Well... no. No it isn’t. But it might be enough to enjoy this very Fringey show.
Oh. And whatever happened to the bloody trumpets?
Duration: 60mins

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