Ottawa Fringe 2012. Mark Shyzer experiments with “dark matter” . A hideously funny one person show!!

Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht

Categories: Ottawa Fringe 2012

In three seconds, long lanky Mark Shyzer  removes a shirt, flips on a wig, switches genders as easily as a snake sheds its skin and   transforms himself into four disturbingly sinister but grotesquely funny creatures.Fishbowl%20(2) 

Nerdy Esther Goody, working on a physics experiment with “dark matter”, analyses the universe as she chats with Frank, the goldfish in his little bowl, floating in space. But she isn’t the only creature who emerges from the dark and creepy  world of Shyzer whose four creatures are impeccably performed. Raymond is the young rebel who tells us he hates his parents as he stands there clutching his arm, the  defensive gesture of a deeply disturbed young man;  there is the ambivalent  divorcee- male or female – it isn’t clear but that’s the point,  draped over a chair telling s us how she  hates her former partner . There is the elderly male and former teacher, near death, who hates his students and just wants to be left alone. They all seem to belong to the same family of monstrous slickly urban almost Gothic humans who all  breathe as though their lungs were rattling in their bodies, who stare with deeply enraged eyes. They are furious with the world and with all humans around them and they create the impression they all belong in that great fishbowl where the strongest eat the weakest.

Monstrously funny but intriguing as theatre, and  impeccably performed by an actor who draws your gaze and keeps you fixed on his body as well as on his excellent text.  A surprisingly original performance that perhaps went on a bit too long. They might consider cutting a few minutes. There were several moments before the final longer scene with Esther  that could easily disappear.

FISHBOWL is an  evening of hideous fun in the dark in  at Academic  Hall   


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