Randy’s Postcards from Purgatory
Heath McIvor @ Le Cascadeur
8:45pm, Tue 17 Mar 2009
Since first meeting Randy in 2007, I’ve been enamoured with the foul-mouthed puppet; I think it’s the stark contrast between the Muppet-esque kid-friendly appearance and the filth that can come out of his mouth. So a gig that’s all Randy, all the time? Sounds brilliant.
The thing is, I’m not quite sure there’s an hour of decent material in this show.
Randy relays proceedings to the audience in the first person (well, it’s first-person omniscient, but who am I to quibble? There’s probably eight grammatical errors in this sentence alone). At the beginning of the show, Randy is happy; he’s got a great job, is in a joyous relationship, and is just in a good place. As you might imagine from the “purgatory” in the title, however, things take a rather life-altering turn: poor choices and the relationship shatters, work falls in a heap, and Randy goes off the rails. And it’s funny watching this wide-eyed, purple puppet hit the bottle and go off the deep end – and somewhat poignant to see him tentatively drag himself out.
Along the way there’s some cracking humour – the inexplicable Flashback Yeti (another uproarious puppet), hijinks with the private investigator, and the expected drunk & hungover gags. There’s also the odd mis-step – the over-enunciated herb discussion seems… well, pointless and rambling (but maybe that was the point?)
This is, apparently, Heath McIvor’s debut solo show. The presentation of the puppetry is perfect – you couldn’t ask for more. But there’s something that unsettled me about the voyage of self-discovery contained within this show; I’m inclined to think that it’s because the story felt… well, autobiographical. And I don’t know why that should niggle me – but the fact that it does is also unsettling. Sometimes it’s tough being stuck in my head.
Anyway, Randy’s Postcards from Purgatory? Flawed, but worthwhile.