Escape Artists ll: end of the world but reviewer feels fine

Escape Artists ll

Is it the end of the world or the beginning?  The Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world as we know it and the beginning of another in December 2012.  We were all braced for complete disaster because of Y2K but we were fine... then we had 9-11 and we're still fine (some of us, anyway)...then Planet X was coming towards us... Do we need constant impending global disaster to control us?  Do we respond with reactionary fear?  Riots?  Or do we seek out community and each other for comfort and solace?

While it was sometimes difficult to catch every word over the dull roar of the duct running beside the fire escape, the cast of Escape Artists ll do a fine job of conveying an atmosphere of pre- and post-apocalyptic uncertainty.  Martin Glover's script is well-delivered by four young actors who have strong characterization and engaging presence in this unusual staging.  Clocking only 30 mins, it's quite amazing how much emotional and intellectual ground can be covered in the dialogue that's never too dense but still conveys a range of human experience.  A reluctant hug is touching when the reticent hugger moves deeply into it, only to be undone by her frisky huggee.  Trauma is relieved through connection, though.  Language and identity are restored through charming word association exchanges, reaching out to others and touching.

It's a touching show.  It may be the end of the world as we know it but you'll feel fine.

Escape Artists ll is on as part of the Vancouver Fringe. For more information escape here.

By Lisa Barrett