SansSense: Absurd Theatre hits ArtsCourt

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This review also published in Apt613.ca

SansSense is a collection of short plays and monologues featuring farfetched fantastical storylines. The material is creative and fresh yet despite the advertised brevity the production would have greatly benefited from harsher editing.

Joel Garrow delivers the Stuart Ross monologues that bookend the evening in diametrically opposed style. The opener is a frenetically nervous retelling of a story of an armed man vs an unsuspecting poodle. Garrow feverishly acts out every sentence energising the audience for the night ahead while in the closing monologue, The Engagement, he edges creepily around the set using voice and small gestures to lull the audience in to contemplation.

The monologues work nicely to frame the two longer works, Fish & No. Please and the transitions between plays and at the single interval are an inspired success.

Fish a solo-performance by Will Lafrance starts with absurdist promise but despite the lovely open-ended work romance drags considerably in scenes and made me itch for my editing pen.  Todd Hammond provided some talented writing no doubt but that makes the urge to tighten up the production stronger still.

Sean Callaghan’s No Please is a stirringly powerful tale of a righteous police-state enforcer, an on-the-edge wife and her lover. The setting is in an Orwellian future where street people are incinerated, provocateurs are hung and a wife’s lover is so normalised he’s invited to stay for dinner. No, Please is a courageous piece of theatre and the three-hander with Garrow, Lafrance and Marissa Caldwell has great chemistry bringing the necessary believability that elevates the work from quirky affectation to chilling vision.

It’s a decidedly different night of theatre and though I’d prefer less forgiving direction and greater brevity it’s a successfully unique evening with undeniable talents and I look forward to seeing more of what WeArt has to offer.

SansSense 
Arts Court, ODD Box Theatre, 2 Daly Ave
Thurs-Sat April 10-12th, 8:00-10:00pm,
Sunday April 13th, 2:00-4:00pm (Pay-What-You-Can)

Tickets $10 for students, $15 artists, $20

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