Theatre Review: WTF???


Note: This review was posted on the KC Stage review system.

“If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em”, written by D. R. Blakeman and “The Myths and Bricks Report”, written by Niles Gerbick, directed by Gregory Chafin. Produced by Journeyman Theatre (part of the KC Fringe Festival). First produced 2010. (Seen July 30, 2010.)

Absurdist theatre is not my cup of tea. And like classical theatre, the acting has to be top-notch to even start to follow.

The two productions put on by Journeyman Theatre were both absurdist productions, and I’m still not quite sure what they were about.

Yet another Fringe show without a program for names, the first production was “The Myths and Bricks Report”. According to the Fringe program description, “a man sits in a room, his only companion a brick that refuses to speak”. The lone actor did a good job in interacting with the brick, but it was hard to understand the point of it. Not being able to hear the last line delivered at the back of the theatre didn’t help much.

A long scene change between this and the next, “If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em” didn’t help the show. It’s about two characters named Lewis and Clark, who sit in a room with ‘placebo blow’ and have a Godot-esque conversation for most of the production. “Good thing we’re normal now,” says one of them after they are given ‘anti-depressants’ to “make you normal, like the rest of us”. The writer interprets anti-depressants as the opposite of speed, as the two characters when ‘normal’ are quite boring to watch.

Plagued by tech issues throughout, it was well acted, even if I have no idea what the two scenes were about.

I’m not even sure if I could recommend it. It definitely fits the bill of a ‘Fringe’ show, and if you like absurdist theatre it might be right up your alley. But then again, trying to understand absurdist theatre is like talking to a brick.

The KC Fringe Festival runs until August 1, 2010. For more information, visit the KC Fringe Festival website.

Read all of my Fringe reviews here

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