Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

Great Battles in History

Performed and written(?) by Mark Shyzer

If one knows German, the family name of this fellow could be problematic but no matter. This is the perfect Fringe anti-theatre where Jeff mumbles, fumbles, works his way through a musical performance that was meant to be but doesn’t quite make it because the people involved haven’t turned up, and in any case Jeff the narrator, director, actor can’t play the Ukulele, can’t sing and he hates musicals. An event that appears to deconstruct theatre (musical theatre really)   by giving us a slightly campy vision of the great battles of history and singing songs off key to highlight those moments. Actually, this is not about history, its about  theatre and mainly about Jeff’s transgressive vision of the world who tells us he doesn’t need all these established models because he has new ones and doesn’t have to find evasion in those soppy heroic romantic performances that musicals and historical narratives  usually are. He has his own models and he is fine because he knows exactly who he is. All kidding aside, that is a lot more profound than you could imagine. Clever and annoying!

Plays at Arts Court