On the Perfection of Man

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matthew lumley, kathryn mccormack, bill wood, mary fay coady, rhys bevan-john       photo by: emily jewer

From the first entrance of Kathryn McCormack being upstaged almost immediately by Rhys Bevan-John in The Perfection of Man, Misery Loves (Theatre) Company‘s sketch comedy drama playing at Eastern Front Theatre’s Stages Festival until June 8th, it is clear that the audience is in for a unique and hilarious treat.

This is the sort of show that one hopes to get as the result of a collective creation, a beautifully polished, proficiently performed, intelligently woven together tapestry of humanity, playfulness and heart. And literally, there is a heart.

The collective is comprised of McCormack, Bevan-John, Mary Fay Coady, Bill Wood and Matthew Lumley with Louisa Adamson and designed by Nathaniel Bassett. The Perfection of Man feels like a sketch comedy show, but one that delves deeper into emotional territory, allowing its audiences to feel pathos as well as delight and continually surprising them with the unexpected.

The images intrinsic to each sketch are simple yet vividly powerful. Props such as a watering can, a tin can telephone and a red balloon, relics from childhood, are so poetically rendered. One scene just uses the soundscape of the rain and gives us something wonderfully haunting and incredibly human.

 The show is also, as you might expect, extremely funny and the comedy and the absurd permeates everything. Bevan-John and Wood have a sketch where they play satyrs that is certain to have you howling with a great mixture of uncomfortable and glee. Yet, there are also beautiful moments of tragedy that are beautifully performed by the actors. Coady’s face when nobody wants to buy her heart, and Bevan-John’s as a sensitive child who has just been brutally chastised by his mother elicit true pangs of empathy and sadness before quickly being undercut by the next slice of fun. Kathryn McCormack and Matthew Lumley have a beautiful dance sketch that is so simple, yet so joyful to watch.

This collective of performers have invoked a real gem from the Theatre Gods, I highly recommend that you check this one out.

The Perfection of Man plays as part of Eastern Front Theatre’s Stages Festival at Neptune Scotiabank Studio Theatre (1593 Argyle Street) at 9:00pm until June 8th. Tickets are $20.00 or two for $30.00. For more information or to book your tickets please visit this website, or visit the Box Office at 1593 Argyle Street or phone 902.429.7070.  

* The original review of this play appeared on TWISI during the show’s run at the Atlantic Fringe Festival in September 2012. It has been updated to reflect the current production.

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