When Harry Met Harry
flaming locomotive productions @ Bakehouse Theatre – Main Stage
2:00pm, Wed 2 Mar 2011
So, Harry… well, he’s a bit… odd. A bit anal retentive, with a sprinkling of OCD. On edge.
At least, Old Harry is like that. Young Harry, seen through flash-back scenes that are intended to provide illumination behind his aged idiosyncrasies, is a much chattier – and obsessive – bundle of curiosity. But that’s by-the-by, because it’s Old Harry that we spend the most time with.
Harry leads a pretty routine existence. He treads the same path every day, and his work rewards him by being predictable. But one day his employer insists that he and his co-workers attend a team-building workshop, fronted by the motivational Rodney. And if the very thought of the workshop terrified Harry, the reality proved to be far, far worse.
Despite being someone who can identify with Harry’s OCD pretty closely, I actually found him a genuinely unlikeable character – but it felt bad to actually laugh at him. And that was really quite an odd sensation; everything in writer/performer Allan Girod’s script seems to be geared towards creating this awkward, obsessive, joke of a man, yet I couldn’t find the humour… in fact, I felt more pity than anything. Young Harry’s rock-sifting antics left me thoroughly bemused, however, but in a “WTF?” kind of way. And Rodney… well, whilst I liked his interactions with Old Harry, I really struggled to see the relevance in his audience interaction bit.
Reading the above paragraph back, it reads like I was genuinely negative towards When Harry Met Harry – but that’s not really the case. Girod plays all the characters with a great sense of movement, using his lanky frame to comic advantage… quite how such a tall man managed to convincingly play a small boy I’ve still not quite figured out. And, whilst perhaps I didn’t respond the way Girod intended the script to be taken, I still found it a rewarding experience… in a slightly depressing kind of way.