Paco V. Put to Sleep

Wes Babcock

 

One of three shows written by Martin Dockery in this year’s Fringe, Paco V Put to Sleep is an absurd look at the human condition in a world where actually doing something is optional.

I need to begin this review by addressing Dockery’s script. It features a group of absolutely serious people who are among the most useless ever to draw breath and yet paint a convincing caricature of people paying lip service to the goal of effecting the world. This cheeky cultural critique escalates the stakes for its characters in a masterful broadening of scope that seems plausible and perfect for all its absurdity. Dockery demonstrates a knack for choosing the ideal word to divide the people in the theatre into two distinct groups: the one on stage who doesn’t get the joke, and the audience, which invariably does.

The cast’s deadpan delivery of every single line shows the great restraint necessary for this script to come alive in the convincing and powerful manner that it does. Dick D’s parents (Celine Filion and Jeff Lefebvre) are so serious in their incompetence that they’re almost adorable. Mike Kosowan’s great sense of comedic timing in his portrayal of Dick becomes the crucial beat around which the other cast members (Tim Oberholzer, Marissa Caldwell, and Will Lafrance) rally, and drives the play. These characters are portrayed in such an unbelievably believably dumb light – the warm, flickering light of human lemmings watching the world burn while their ice cream melts – you have to laugh as you shake your head. To them, the television and the window to the outside world are equivalent objects that could be controlled, if only the remote weren’t broken.

This incompetence leads to the most hilariously understated crisis imaginable when Paco V goes to sleep almost without notice and certainly without concern from those in the waking world.

 

Upcoming Shows: (Venue #1: Arts Court Theatre)

 

June 24 @ 19:30

June 27 @ 21:00

June 29 @ 16:00