Touchstone Theatre
Kill Me Now by Brad Fraser

Dates and Venue October 13 - 27, 2018, Tues 7pm, Wed - Sat 8pm & Sat & Sun 3pm | Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street

Director Roy Surette Set Design David Roberts Lighting Design Kaileigh Krysztofiak Costume Design Hannah Case Sound Design James Coomber Lighting & Production Design Adrian Muir Stage Manager Angela Beaulieu

Reviewer Erin Jane

Kill Me Now premiered in 2015 with much critical acclaim and indications that it could be playwright Brad Fraser’s best work yet. Fraser, born in Edmonton of Metis descent, is no stranger to gritty controversial subject matter the likes of which is often featured in his hard hitting plays, and Kill Me Now is no different. Overflowing with themes of loss, hardship and hard drinking, this play has found an important place in Fraser’s collection of works. His visceral depiction of human tragedy and adversity, while tough to consume, goes down easier when paired with the perfect amount of irony, dark comedy, and compassion.

Jake (played by seasoned Vancouver actor Bob Frazer) is a single father and a writer, raising a teenage son with severe physical disabilities. His son Joey (played by Adam Grant Warren) requires a lot of physical support in his daily routine, and when Jake falls sick with his own physically crippling health issues, both are tasked with supporting each other through exceptionally challenging circumstances.

Frazer plays the part of Jake sensitively with humour and grace, and his thin frame is well suited to illustrate the physical burden of caring for his son. Adam Grant Warren does an incredible job playing the role of Joey, who is bright, funny and charming. In spite of the obvious challenges of language and mobility in portraying this character, Warren succeeds in ensuring Joey’s wisecracks land with perfect timing.

Joey’s best friend Rowdy, played by the very funny Braiden Houle, has his own obstacles in life but rises to the task of providing much needed support to Jake, Joey, and Joey’s plucky and lovable Aunt Twyla (played by Luisa Jojic). Rowdy’s social awkwardness (due to brain damage caused by FAS) is incredibly endearing and often provides much needed comedic relief in particularly tense or poignant scenes. Houle infuses this character with a surprising amount of tenderness, which works well juxtaposed with his otherwise brash and oversexed persona.

Also deserving of acknowledgement was the very creative and versatile set design by David Roberts. The simple revolving stage allowed for several scene changes and locations: bathroom, kitchen, hospital, park, living room, pottery studio, and more. Truly a macrocosm opened up in the small intimate setting of the Firehall Arts Centre, and those of us fortunate enough to see Touchstone Theatre’s Kill Me Now were rewarded with a theatre experience that won’t be soon forgotten.

© 2018 Erin Jane