So clearly I’m falling firmly into the ‘can’t motivate myself to produce’ camp during quarantine, although in my defense I’ve re-read almost half of Al Ewing’s IMMORTAL HULK run from Marvel Comics, and watched an awful lot of awesome old kung-fu movies.
What I’ve also managed, in between anxiety-fraught grocery runs and middling attempts at flatbread, is to watch some good old theatre via the internets. There’s a virtual glut of the stuff circulating around out there, from the NAC‘s heroic livestreaming cavalcade, to Stratford and National Theatre uploading some of their greatest hits (TREASURE ISLAND was a goddamn delight, I tells ya), to a ton of independent operators just doing what they do. And since, every now and then in my more lucid moments I remember what this blog was actually started for, I thought, hey let’s review some gol-danged theatre! Because otherwise I’m gonna run out of Masterchef Australia episodes way too soon.
First up will be my most recent full view, Falling Iguana Theatre’s DIANA (I knew you when we were fourteen), part of the aforementioned NAC series. Created by performers Alexa Higgins (OTS represent!) and Ian Ottis Goff, and inspired by Michael Ondaatje’s poem Elimination Dance (at least if I’m reading their web info correctly), Diana follows the circuitous pathways of two main characters, the titular Diana and a somewhat smitten high school classmate Michael. They meet in wonderfully awkward high school fashion, at a painfully orchestrated school dance that ends up foisting them briefly together. Shortly after that, Diana simply vanishes from the school without a trace.
From there, we follow along both through Michael’s slow-to-start- but impossible to ignore desire to search out his classmate and discover her fate, as well as hitching a ride with Diana and her family as we see what really caused her sudden departure. Much hilarity and heartbreak follows as we traverse multiple provinces and characters over the fast paced hour of playtime. Originally premiering at the Island Fringe Festival in 2018, I will freely admit that this show is almost exactly my kinda theatre. Small cast, minimal set, lotsa characters and heart to spare. Both performers did great work, embracing a host of personas, tossing in some song and dance for good measure. And the clever ways Alexa and Ian manage to use their limited space in quarantine while streaming was mighty impressive, and gave this piece a few extra nudges over the typical ‘point and shoot’ net performance going around these days. It was easy to forget I was watching on a screen and get well and truly immersed in a charming and entertaining story that works its merry way to a sweet and satisfying destination.
Normally this would be where I’d tell you where the show is playing and to get tickets and what not. Instead, I get to just toss you a link to where you can ACTUALLY WATCH THE SHOW! Make popcorn, grab a drink, crinkle all the candies you like, and settle in for a dee-liteful spot of much-needed theatre. But be quick, its only up for a couple more days! Hurry hurry:
Dang, I’m out of practice on these things, I’m exhausted! Time to log off, sit back, and enjoy DJ Al Connors’ daily set (which you should be doing too, FYI) and get ready to knock another one of these out sooner than later. Peace, love and soul, gang,
Kevin and Caitlin (and Winston’s ghost, from a safe 6 foot distance)