Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: (Montreal) Our Creation, Existence, and Destruction in 55 Minutes (Fringe)

The Title's the Thing
by Janis Kirshner

The show title says it all. Ian Geldart presents a neatly wrapped up play consisting of three creation stories, three existence stories and three destruction stories. I’ve always been a fan of creation myths and how they offer insights into various cultures. Geldart is affable and greets the crowd warmly before beginning at the beginning with the gift of fire.

I enjoyed the happy accident of barbecued pork and the creation of the first tool by Nolan the ape and the funny animation demonstrating how we populated the earth. However, though the stories in themselves kept me interested and Geldart is an able actor, the predictable 1-2-3 structure alternating with blackouts left me antsy.

Though smart and not badly written the show just doesn’t go far enough or alter the pace. It’s possible the reputable guest directors didn’t have a chance to see each others’ work so couldn’t shape the overall arc of the piece. The sound effects are a good addition and Geldart has a handle on voices and physicality- I especially liked his switching back and forth between male and female. Fun to watch were interviews with Taylor and Peter at ages four and a half, thirteen and fifteen being asked what they thought of the other sex. Heading into ‘destruction’ were Kevin and Samantha, the last people on earth… and she still won’t sleep with him…

Summing it all up is a history class about intelligent species - glad to see humans included! It’s not all gloom and doom - Geldart is far too likeable for that. Maybe an honest insight to our culture after all.

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