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by | Sep 4, 2019 | Review | 0 comments

Vancouver Fringe 2019 In Ireland We Rented a Car from Criminals

This show needs artistic GPS. (Photo of Lauren Allen and Nathan Coppens by Judith Schulz)

The story is about an American couple traveling in Ireland but, stylistically, this show has no idea where it’s going.

Central characters Tom and Mary, who are married and middle-aged, rent a car and search County Clare for Mary’s ancestors in the graveyards and famine pits (mass burial sites) that bear witness to the potato famine. So there’s a road trip — and a history lesson: Tom and Mary stop at a number of significant sites, which allows playwright Rod Macpherson to trot out historical context.

Beyond that, things get weird. Tom is desperate to fuck Mary, who regards sex as a chore. This is played for comedy, but it’s not funny, partly because it’s coarse and repetitive, but also because Nathan Coppens, who’s playing Tom and a number of other characters, is overacting so hard he’s flirting with cardiac arrest.

And then there’s the narrative thread, also supposedly comic (mostly), about Aidan, the shady rent-a-car guy.

These attempts at humour undercut the famine material so thoroughly that, when Mary bursts into tears a couple of times, you start looking around for the other crocodiles.

At Performance Works on September 7 (1:35 p.m.), 8 (5:30 p.m.), 10 (5:00 p.m.), 11 (9:00 p.m.), and 14 (6:45 p.m.) NOTE: The September 5 performance has been cancelled. Tickets

This review is based on a performance at the Victoria Fringe.


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