Monday, May 4, 2009

House by Daniel McIvor, Ken Webster at Hyde Park Theatre, April 30 - May 30

Ken Webster's Victor is in control from the first instant of this piece. Lights dim and he flings open the doors to the theatre, entering to waves of recorded applause. Victor's expression is sardonic, dismissive, impatient. He gestures and cuts off the applause, then launches into a stream of consciousness monologue about group therapy. He is scathing, sarcastic, in control, telling us about the misfits and about the facilitator Just Call Me Joe -- "and I will NOT call him Joe."

Ken is in control of Victor, but sometimes it looks like a near thing. This guy is all over the place. Early on, with malicious satisfaction he violates the fourth wall of the theatre space, moving up close and personal, stalking around the house.


Victor reacts as if he is receiving an electric shock, whenever he uses the word. He builds his world for us with his compulsive tales and commentary, told with glittering eyes, shifts of mood and changes of locale. There again and again is that flash of contempt as he snaps a finger to signal a change in the lighting or a new subject about which to rail.

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