Havana and Chipped Paint Productions

Written by T.J. Dawe and performed by Greg Landucci

Dates and Venue 9 19 January & 12 - 16 February 2008 @ 8pm | The Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial Drive

Reviewer John Jane

When dining out at my local EarlsTM or Cactus ClubTM restaurant I have to confess my observation of the staff hierarchy doesn’t go further than the instant smiles and gratuitous friendly banter of the typically attractive servers and would never spare much thought about what happens to the tableware after I paid my bill and left the place.

All that may have changed forever after seeing T.J. Dawe and Greg Landucci’s Dishpig, a grim comedy that sends up the facade of comfortable ambiance in our eateries.

Restaurant dishwasher no doubt ranks with poultry processor and sewing machine operator on a list of worst jobs. So, why does Matt, a twenty-something vagabond take it on this crappy job? It turns out that our hero has blown his cash reserves on a European back-packing trip and has just returned home with a stack of memories but no marketable skills.

Greg Landucci draws both empathy and laughter as the audience follows his farcical, rapid-fire account of his first days slogging in the restaurant kitchen; convincing himself and the audience he's sunk about as low as it is humanly possible to go.

Landucci narrates the story essentially through Dishpig (the self-appropriated name for being the lowest grunt in the kitchen), but occasionally switches the colourful dialogue to Jeff, his hard-nosed supervisor, Murray, his irritating co-worker, Jemma, the hot waitress, and Mike and Dave, the pot-smoking pair whom Dishpig shares a joint with at the end of his shift.

Vancouver audiences are obviously connecting with Dishpig’s misadventures, which has caused the production to be brought back for an additional run 12th – 16th February.

If you missed Dishpig at last Summer’s Fringe Festival this is an excellent opportunity to catch this encore presentation at the Havana theatre - if you saw it, and liked it, why not go for a second helping.

© 2008 John Jane