publicity photo: Something in the Water

Photo of S.E. Grummett by Kenton Doupe

Yay trans identity! Yay queer idenity! Yay polymorphous perversity! Yay … squid sex? Sure! Yay squid sex! In this playful solo show, which they wrote and perform, S.E. Grummett explores gender through a clown character named Grumms. Grumms uses Barbie and Ken as props in a lesson on normative dating. (Barbie and Ken do so much gender-themed work in Fringe shows they could retire on the royalties.) Then Grumms finds out that, after slow dancing with a squid, they have developed squid-shaped genitalia. There are advantages: a hole, plus a lot of tentacles. Grummett is a charismatic performer, Grumms an innocent, low-status clown and, in its inventive use of an overhead projector, the physicality of Something in the Water is satisfying. Dramaturgically, things don’t entirely pay off, though: after the parody of normativity and the release into freer possibilities, Grumms becomes a hero, but the terms of their heroism are loosely defined. (What causes the crisis? Who is Grumms’s antagonist? What’s the showdown?) Something in the Water doesn’t fully sustain itself, but much of it is fun.

Vancouver Fringe Festival at the Revue Stage. Remaining performances: September 15 8:45 p.m., September 18 5:15 p.m., and September 19 at 7:00 p.m. Vancouver Fringe Festival tickets

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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