one person show
Allan Girod has a captivating physical presence on stage. He is truly mesmerizing. I liked nothing more than watching this six-foot-nine Australian man contort himself into a child, a louche motivational speaker and an asocial perfectionist.
If Charles Dickens were alive he would kiss the thespian Garry Boon for telling his tale. (Please Note: thespian this is not a new quirky sexual orientation.)
No Garry Boon sells as he tells you the story of Doctor Marigold with carefully chosen words tripping from his tongue, modulated for effect.
Teaching Shakespeare - not a selling title, surely - claims more than 150 performances, which, for all I know, is a Fringe record. The actor (presumably Keir Cutler, credited as 'playwright') lectures to us, as a university Shakespeare class. He is devoted to Shakespeare; his approach is a random, free-association one.
Powerpoint-utilizing autobiographical storyteller extraordinaire Barry Smith is back with a show that is billed as being about his habit of keeping every record, photo, and scrap of personal information that passes through his life, but is more accurately about his colourful youth spent growing up in backwater Mississippi and southern California.
Alison Lynne Ward delivers an honest, funny one-woman show in ¼ Life Crisis. It’s a lively monologue about the struggles of being twenty-something, single and an artist with too many degrees and no career worth mentioning. The show is revealing, relatable and had the audience falling out of their chairs with laughter. The disappointment was the ending, which was a sadly cliché.
Borrowing a scene from Superman, Chris Gibbs in Like Father, Like Son? Sorry (on now in Victoria as part of the Uno Fest) sweeps onstage with the plastic baby that would grow up to be Christopher Reeve. From here, he slides out of his robe and into a long reflection on his own fitness as a father. He then quickly adjusts the baby’s head so that it’s flat, unblinking, empty, lifeless, soullessly accusing blue eyes bore through the being of some unfortunate man in the front row. Gibbs is not one to let sincerity smother comedy for long.
If you kept your ears open around last year’s Fringe festivals, you probably picked up a shred of conversation or two about Chris Gibbs in The Power of Ignorance which is back in Victoria for a return engagement at the Uno Fest. Gibbs plays idiot-savant motivational speaker Vaguen – here to teach you (!) no less than nineteen (!) ways your ignorance (?) can save and better your daily life.