It’s Fringe time in Vancouver! Lucky moi am seeing a few shows and writing about a few. NOT critiquing per se, just creating conversation! The below post will also be found on Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance shortly.
#VanFringe: “You Killed Hamlet”
CRASSTASTIC! After watching You Killed Hamlet for my second time (first at Edmonton Fringe), I leaned over and asked the laughing couple sitting beside me which word would express what they just witnessed. She said, “crasstastic” and he, “original”. “May I quote you?” I asked. “YES!”
“You Killed Hamlet” by the Naked Empire Bouffon Company from San Francisco boldly, blatantly, boisterously (all the b’s to honour the B in Bouffon) mirror our cracked attitudes toward death, dying and aging. It is not for the faint of heart.
“The court is now in session! Humanity vs Death.” Prozac? That should…… keep death at least 4 hours away! Will humanity actually win? HA!
Nathaniel Justiniano and Ross Travis, are two bouffons, jiggling Patches and emaciated Shreds, who provoke and mock us humans with our myriad ways of not avoiding death. “Don’t want to think about THAT!”
Oh… and if you’re going for Shakespeare, you’ll get some. But, who plays Hamlet?
Watching audience members deal with their squirming reactions, or with their knowing, laughing nods, is just as fun as observing the bouffons see right through us. “Ohhh… I just got what the show is about…” At the show I saw about 10 people slunk out at various moments. Perfect! I thought! That’s art! You are getting reactions.
If this is your first time with the notion of bouffon, do some research, and learn about its beginnings in the high court and lower society. (I admit I have a soft spot for this expression as I, too, have studied and taught the freedom of bouffon.)
So be prepared to feel slightly sick with enjoyment and get to the meat of the Fringe with You Killed Hamlet!
Playing at Performance Works on Granville Island… Don’t wait!
Vive le Théâtre!
Written for the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance