SCANDELOUS FOLLY PAYS OFF IN DIVIDENDS
If it’s true every winter needs a laugh-out-loud comedy to chase away the February blahs just wait until you see what Soulpepper Theatre Company has up its sleeve this month. We’re talking a farcical disturbance of such extreme pleasure it’s unlikely anything will come around to match it for quite some time.
Everything’s poke worthy in Accidental Death of an Anarchist where Stephen Harper and The Learning Annex find their suitable punchlines in Nobel Prize winning writer Dario Fo’s modified script.
For the record, this isn’t a play about political views or crossing over to the other side. The scandalous folly features a koo koo detainee with twelve arrests and no convictions who mischievously and imaginatively turns an entire police division upside down in his pursuit of truthiness. It’s fun, it tickles, it will make you cry out ‘absurdity forever!’ when the story draws to an end.
It’s going to be impossible for live wire Kawa Ada not to get a nod when this year’s Dora Award nominations are announced. His character chameleon portrayal of a Madman is insanely amusing with the actor barely getting a moment to catch his breath in this fast paced giggle maker.
Propping him up left, right, and centre is the perpetually playful Rick Roberts as the panic stricken Chief and Oliver Dennis as the slap happy Inspector Bertozzo. Completing the dozy law enforcement balancing act are Ins Choi, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Daniel Williston.
The calculated risks that director Ravi Jain takes pays off in howling dividends in this facetious presentation. However, it’s questionable if the decision to insert a 5-minute episode of socio-political commentary toward the end serves the intended purpose. The point is made but the question is does it need to at the expense of slowing the entertainment?
‘Pooh will hit the fan’ if you miss this sophisticated fourth floor satire. Failure to venture into the Distillery would be a crime against artistic humanity.
Review by Steven Berketo
ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST by Dario Fo, translated by Jon Laskin & Michael Aquilante Jan. 29 – Feb. 21, 2015 YOUNG CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS 50 Tankhouse Lane, Toronto TICKETS $37.00 – $89.00 416-866-8666 CAST Kawa Ada, Ins Choi, Oliver Dennis, Raquel Duffy, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Rick Roberts, Daniel Williston DIRECTOR Ravi Jain SET & COSTUMES Lorenzo Savoini LIGHTING Kim Purtell SOUND DESIGN Samuel Sholdice