This is a show that’s both a delight and an impossibility to review. One I’ve been looking forward to ever since it was announced, as of course have all well-informed citizens of good taste. I was sorry as Heck to miss opening night of this show, but how could I legitimately resist a one-night only show of actors reading anonymously donated but true masturbation stories, called JERK IT? On a side note, nice job with the evening, May Can Theatre, ya done good.
But that’s another post, that never happened! This one is all about the long-awaited MUCH ADO ABOUT FECKIN’ PIRATES, taking place at the Gladstone Theatre courtesy of Parry Riposte Productions, aka Richard Gelinas and Margo MacDonald. Richard and Margo, two of THE best actors in this city hands down, have been working on this piece of pirate performance for several years now, along with their collaborator/director AL Connors. It’s wonderful that they’ve finally managed to bring their work, which originally begun as some back-and-forth pirate banter backstage at a Company of Fools show, to the stage, and we lucky viewers, at last.
It’s a shockingly simple setup as a story goes…two pirates (Gelinas and MacDonald, natch) are tightly bound and consigned to the crow’s nest of their ship as punishment for fighting. Some dispute involving a parrot. Is at the heart of it, and blood may be spilt…later on. First, though, they’re both immobile and bored and in need of something to talk about o pass the time. That’s where the audience comes in…they get the chance to vote, before the show and hopefully while enjoying a rum shot or two, on which topics our pirate duo will converse. A wide array of topics are provided so that no two shows will ever be the same (although I’d bet several pieces of eight that ‘diddling’ will somehow always make it into the conversation). And yes, as is implied, the bulk of the dialogue in this show is improvised, a spontaneously devised ongoing pirate-themed argument between two people I am now declaring to be the grandmasters of Pirate Improv. Which is where the ‘impossible to review’ comes in..after all, rather tricky to review a show that necessarily changes every night, although there IS a structure, and a plan, at the heart of FECKIN’ PIRATES, and Margo and Richard never lose sight of the goal even while they’re threatening to crack one another up with drinking songs, reminiscences of Fake Ireland and her many bogs, and oddly hilarious tales of murder and diddling (there’s quite a lot of that last bit).
But the impossible is, of course my business, so review this show I will. It’s amazing! There, see how easy impossible things are when you try? But for serious, this is such a pitch-perfect showcase for two incredible theatrical talents that to miss it should be at least a misdemeanor offence. Forget the crow’s nest, if you pass on this wonderful experience it’s the plank for ya! Personally, I hope to make it out for a second tour with the Pirates…if ever a show had replay value, this is it. Peace, love and soul,
Kevin Reid, the Visitor, aka Bloody Squiffy (and Winston)