My favourite aspect of any Fringe Festival is having the opportunity to see the work of theatre artists, especially local ones, that I may not necessarily get to see during the rest of the year. Sometimes you happen upon a unique little gem and this year (so far) that gem is Sam Bambrick’s Suicide Makes Sense.
Set in a similar Absurdist Metatheatrical realm as Six Characters in Search of An Author, this play centres on a playwright who has come to the climatic ending of his new play, the suicide of his protagonist, but Marty refuses to die. Their banter is hilarious and smart and the ploys that the playwright invents in attempt to force the ending of his choice upon his reluctant character work with clarity and ingenuity.
I liked the allusions to the audience and the breaking of the fourth wall. The only thing that I wanted to be clearer about was what stage of the writing process the playwright was at. At times it seemed as though the play had been finished and at times it seemed as though the ending was just being written. The stakes are higher for the playwright if Marty’s unwillingness to cooperate is actively preventing him from being able to finish the play.
There are three strong performances in this piece. Chad Raymond Elder Poirier is charming as the plot foil, Ted, Bradley James Hartman is reminiscent of David Myles as Marty, hanging on tightly to his last hopes and Andrew Gouthro gives a beautifully dramatic performance as the much besieged playwright. The cast also has a very strong dynamic as an ensemble, especially Gouthro and Hartman, which gives the play the intensity and the comic timing that it requires.
This play is a really exciting piece of work from four artists that I hope to hear much more from in the future!
Suicide Makes Sense plays at the Museum of Natural History (1747 Summer Street) as part of the Atlantic Fringe Festival at the following times:
Friday, Sep 6 – 6:45
Saturday, Sep 7- 10:45
Tickets are $6.00 and are available in advance online at this website or 30 minutes before each show at the venue on the day of the performance. All tickets bought in person must be purchased with either cash or credit. For more information please visit this website or call 902.422.7604 between 10:00am and 5:00pm.