Ned Petrie has become an Atlantic Fringe favourite over the last few years and with his one-man sketch show Merrily We Prance About this year Petrie is in finer form than ever. The show features an array of sketches, without an obvious theme tying them together, but each one highlighting the inherent absurdity in a variety of facets of American and Canadian society.
One of Petrie’s strengths as a performer and writer is his ability to use the specificities and colloquialisms of language to firmly root his characters in a particular time and place. In one sketch he plays a Kentucky Defence Attorney giving his Closing Argument to the jury in a murder trial and it’s not just Petrie’s accent, but also his turns of phrase, that allow him to really thoroughly poke fun at a very specific Southern stereotype. In a great example of the very specific being the most universal, I also saw an immediate correlation between Petrie’s Southern lawyer and Toronto’s former Mayor Rob Ford. Similarly, Petrie uses language to root his unhinged neighbour and frisbee thief Sid Lundy in a particular place as well, and there is an interesting connection between Sid and Petrie’s awkward flirter in the Opening Sketch, as both explore the connection between masculine fragility and unbridled rage.
Petrie is an extremely affable performer and Merrily We Prance About is smart, funny and topical.
Merrily We Prance About plays at the Bus Stop Theatre (2203 Gottingen Street) as part of the Atlantic Fringe Festival at the following times:
Saturday Sept 3rd, 1:30PM (Volunteer Appreciation Performance!)
Sunday Sept 4th, 3:20PM
Monday Sept 5th, 12:00PM & 6:40PM
Tuesday Sept 6th, 9:30PM
Wednesday Sept 7th, 11:15PM
Thursday Sept 8th, 7:00PM
Friday Sept 9th, 8:15PM
Sunday Sept 11th, 7:20PM