Dates and Venue 23 July – 9 August 2014 | Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews

Production and Sets Sunny Drake

Reviewer Christian Steckler

To say that Sunny Drake’s one-man show, X, is a rare experience does not do justice to the imagination, innovation, talent and technical craft present in his performance. His is a magical exploration of the motives, behaviours, attitudes and consequences of addiction (especially with alcohol), sex, and fixation on celebrity.

The characters of Jamie and Caitlin, alternately presented as puppets, projections, and live-in-Sunny, carry us on a wondrous journey that races through the many facets of Drake’s fertile analysis of, what one suspects, are his own emotional, intellectual, and ultimately, spiritual investigations. These investigations appear to have arisen from trans and queer experiences.

Particularly striking throughout Drake’s performance is the incredibly original ways of illustrating what he is saying. His use of puppets, blending into animated projections, is a marvel. So too is his use of the multi-purpose set that he is at various times behind, in front of, extended into, and inside.

Kudos must go to the unnamed techie who had to keep up with all the frantic action in order to provide the appropriate sound and projections.

Sunny Drake’s wild imagination in production might not have meant much without clever writing to hold it together. His use of the two main characters to personify the doubts, declarations and downfalls involved in a gradual metamorphosis give this work the structure it needs to bring home its meaningful message, and, in the end, to show that all of this speaks to himself and his deliverance. Go, wonder, be confused, have moments of clarity, and above all, have fun with Sunny Drake.

© 2014 Christian Steckler