February 14, 2012

Dark Stars

The first of the Fringe Festival shows I have seen is a one man “tragicomedy” by Arthur Meek by the name of Dark Stars.

It tells the similar stories of two African-American actors who struggle in their homeland so try their luck by moving to the ‘underside of the world’ aka Australia. These men are Irving Sayles and Jonathan Council

The show is technically very simple, the lighting doesn’t change and there is no music. Some of the more dramatic moments could have done with some simple lighting changes but the dialogue definitely holds its own. The set features cardboard standees of the various people referred to in the story, from Jonathan’s mother to Irving and his manager and even Cher. Jonathan shows the different characters by assuming the pose of their standee. 

The overall story is one of dreams, missed opportunities, friends found in strange places and yellow brick roads that don’t lead where one would expect. In places we are laughing, in others we are very aware of the true cost of ‘fame’. I enjoyed the well phrased analogies to the Universe such as it being a place where “stars just float around in darkness” and the actor does well capturing the different cadences and vocabularies of his characters. 

There is not much else to say about this show except that if you get the chance it is definitely worth a look.

BATS Theatre 13-16th at 8pm
Prices: full- $16, Concession- $14
Run time: 60 mins

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