Vancouver Fringe 2019: Larry

Larry is my kind of guy.

I’m in love with Larry.

In green coveralls and what looks like a paper cut-out beard, clown Candice Roberts plays Larry in this solo show. The guy’s a hoser — complete with an Ottawa Valley accent — a man’s man, who isn’t woke enough for the woman he wants to date.

The character is a fountain of dude vitality, a hard rocker who plays air guitar on a broom and uses a fan to blow his hair back so that he can look like his heavy-metal idols.

And, like all good clowns, Larry is so dedicated to his irrational viewpoint that he is both transgressive and hilarious: he says he went to the Women’s March and “had a little poke around the babe fest.” And he’s obsessed with his penis, which he claims is so big that it’s “like a baby’s arm hangin’ out of a stroller.”

One of my favourite things about clowning is that, when a good clown gets you laughing, she will not fucking let up — and that’s part of Roberts’s attack here. There’s a chunk in which Larry plays the acoustic guitar and, when he tries to sing, he can’t find the note ever, but he keeps trying and trying — and getting hopeful — and trying. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, remember a time when you were a kid and you got lost in the hysteria of an endless gag.

There’s a transcendent thematic underpinning to all of this too, but that involves a transformation so surprising I won’t give it away.

Go experience it for yourself. Larry is one of the very best shows at the Vancouver Fringe.

In the Havana Theatre. Remaining performances on September 9 (7:45 p.m.), 10 (9:30 p.m.), 13 (6:00 p.m.), 14 (8:30 p.m.), and 15 (3:45 p.m.)


About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.

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