There came a point early on while watching The Accident at the Vancouver International Fringe Fest (unfortunately coinciding with my $3 Backstage Lounge beer buzz wearing off) that I realized “oh God, there’s only going to be one guy in this show”. That wouldn’t have been a bad thing if the guy had been say, Daniel MacIvor, or Robert LePage, but Jonno Katz of Australia’s Epicworlds can not count himself in this company. Rather than switching seamlessly between well-constructed characters, Katz instead flopped around the stage, flipping between roles erratically in a manner that looked less like theatre and more like he’d left his meds down unda’.
It seems like Katz was banking on past successes to help him hype this show (my friend Diana from New Works said his show The Spy was good) and for the most part this must have worked - all the ladies I overheard in the washroom at the Fringe Club thought the show was great. I thought it was dull, predictable and at times even a little bit offensive (is the only way to play female mincing in a campy falsetto?) Also, unless you’re really good at it, miming is mostly boring. Especially when you’re mime kissing. Gross. And so what if you’ve got a mug reminiscent of Wallace from Wallace and Gromit? Guess what? Making a funny face isn’t the same as being funny. As for the “movement” sections, they were painfully narrative, while the narrative sections were vague. There was one section that carried weight: in a single beam of blue light, Katz huddles over an invisible walker, crawling towards mortality. It was a beautiful moment, but, as is life, it was fleeting. If writer/performer Katz had spent more time finessing the script and less time phoning it in, I would have spent more time laughing and less time checking my watch in the dark.