Fourplay, presented by Daisy Productions, is not for the serious theatre patron. If you are that person who philosophically “hmms” during performances or looks for plays permeated with literary metaphors, you might have to skip out on this one.
Fourplay, as you may or may not suspect from the title, is a series of four one-act alternative comedy plays. The show is a mixture of satire, parody, farce and slapstick that will have you shaking your head and giggling simultaneously.
The first play of the series is Sure Thing, written by David Ives and directed by Ivana Stojanovic. It explores a chance meeting between Bill (David Fournier) and Betty (Kelly Taylor) at a coffee shop. Every time their conversation takes a turn for the worse, a bell rings and they get a do over, until the pair finally agrees to head out on a date to the movies.
This is an interesting concept for a one-act play and while the actors successfully maintain the energy and the pace, Fournier switches up his accent and character quite a few times throughout, while Taylor maintains Betty’s persona, making it unclear as to whether Bill is one or multiple characters. Also, I think they can ditch the extras having coffee upstage. We don’t care too much about them.
The second play entitled When I’m Gone…Will Anyone Notice?, written by Lisa Hagen and directed by Emily Schooley, is a charming satire about two elderly women trying to escape from a retirement home. Edna Powell (Kristine MacDonald) and Nora Newman (Justine Cargo) bring a sweetness to existentialism as Nora repeatedly asks the question, “What now?” while the duo is forced to participate in menial activities, such as carpet bowling. The two attempt to escape the cruel treatment they receive from “Nursey” (Ivana Stojanovic), by yelling “Freedom train!” and walking slowly out the door.
This is a heartwarming comedic piece that touches upon life in a retirement home from the perspective of the residents. And these two specific residents are hilariously adorable.
Much Ado About Cooties is the third play of the series, written by Maddox Campbell and directed by Naama David. Starring Michael Giardino, Linus Rachlis, Kelly Taylor and Justine Cargo, this play is a highly exaggerated parody of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, featuring kindergarteners, cootie catchers, “total poopie heads” and death by peanut allergy.
Dubbed by the Host (David Fournier) as Shakespeare’s first written play, this show is foolish and slapstick-driven, and is bound to give you the giggles.
Dial L for Latch-Key is yet another parody – this time of Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder. Written by Scott Fivelson and directed by Gavin Magrath, this show zeros in on the now hilarious aspects of the ‘50s murder mystery genre, with amplified gestures, household object-aided murder, and various instances requiring a “Dun, dun, dunnnn!” sound effect.
Fourplay is not quite perfectly polished, but is perfectly absurd nonetheless. If you’re looking to grab a drink and a comedy show, this series will satisfy your craving for silliness.
Fourplay runs at The Tranzac Club until May 30. For more information visit www.daisyproductions.ca.