Me and My [Sister’s] Monkey
Bradley Spann’s Me and My Monkey is an enjoyable coming-of-age storytelling experience, but it doesn’t offer much wisdom once you walk out of the Arts Court Library.
Armed with only his own body and a large bottle of water, Spann launches into a colourful scene painting of his youth in ‘70s L.A., growing up with 3 older sisters, 1 younger sister, and his mother. His parents are divorced and his older brother has already moved out, so when we join 13-year old comic book fan Bradley in 1973, he is the only male member of his household. The story begins in earnest when one of the sisters dares to ask their unlikable-sounding father for a pet monkey for her birthday: a request that, to everyone’s surprise, he grants. This is quickly followed up by another sister similarly demanding a raccoon for her birthday, which again is granted.
Among these unlikely pet situations, young Bradley grows tired of his sisters’ domineering ways and his father’s tyrannical and insensitive treatment of him.
This describes the general plot for the most part, without getting into specifics. The attraction to this show then is not the story itself, but the eclectic and eccentric characters that make up Bradley’s world as he approaches adulthood.
Coming-of-age stories have been a popular genre for as long as stories have been told because they are supposed to impart important wisdom on what it means to be a responsible adult and member of society. The wisdom that Spann gives is somewhat unclear – the main point at first appears to be to stand up for yourself no matter who’s oppressing you, but then he adds an epilogue stressing the importance of familial love. They’re not mutually exclusive notions, but in the case of this show the father’s mean-spirited behaviour is somewhat at odds with that final message.
See this show if you already have your life in order, and especially if you want to hear conversations between a suave monkey and a gawkish raccoon, which are notably hilarious.
Written and performed by Bradley Spann
Directed by Claire Patton
Upcoming Shows: (Venue #2: Arts Court Library)
June 24 @ 20:00
June 26 @ 23:00
June 28 @ 14:30
June 29 @ 18:30