[20000061] Never Swim Alone

Never Swim Alone

Bakehouse Theatre

6:30pm, Sat 18 Mar 2000

Score: 9

Short Review: Brutal

This was one meaty show. 50 minutes of brutal male truths, starting with giggles and ending with violence. Written by Canadian Daniel MacIvor (whose also wrote House Humans), it takes a no-holds-barred look at the current state of the modern male psyche.

Two men – Bill and Frank – stand facing each other, best of friends. In unison, they greet the audience… they speak in unison for much of the night. They face each other in thirteen rounds, referreed by a ghost of their past. The initial rounds are mostly friendly, jocular boasting and laughs at the other’s expense, but as the play progresses the comments get more and more vicious, until both men get pushed too far…

This play had a lot to say about “winning”, and what success really is in these times. Bill has a successful emotional life, whereas Frank has forgone his in pursuit of the almighty dollar, and is also the more physical of the two. Who is the real winner? The thirteenth round, happily, leaves this question unanswered.

Quite simply, this was a great bit of Fringe theatre. It was fantastic to see a small, local company like Bakehouse producing quality stuff like this! Matthew Bartsch and Erin Klein are fabulous as Bill and Frank, Marlo Grocke plays her small role well, and the direction is faultless. Kudos to all concerned!!

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