Skydive By Kevin Kerr

Dates and Venue 21 January – 7 February 2009 | Granville Island Stage

Directors Roy Surette & Stephen Drover Aerial choreographer Sven Johansson Set Design Yvan Morrisette Lighting Adrian Muir Costume Design Keith A. Parent Stage Manager Angela Beaulieu

Reviewer Susan Peake

Skydive is back – and that means that those of us who did not have the opportunity to see this incredibly innovative production at the PuSh Festiveal in 2007, have been given a gift – a chance to see it this time around!

Having a vague idea about what to expect prior to entering the theatre, I must admit my expectations were not high. The prospect of spending the better part of two hours watching a couple of actors swoop and soar, suspended in the air onstage, seemed somewhat too ‘over the top’ for me (no pun intended). What I did experience, however, was an incredibly entertaining, hilarious, and creative show that left me thoroughly satisfied. So much for expectations!

Yes, the actors do spend most of the 95 minutes – no intermission – flipping and flopping in the air – complements of the clever technology provided by four extraordinary instrument operators. But the performances given by the two actors, James Sanders and Bob Frazer, whose comic timing was perfectly delivered to elicit maximum laughs from the audience, were a perfect match.

Sanders (Morgan) and Frazer (Daniel) have developed a long and close professional friendship since they were teens, and it was Sanders who pitched the idea for this play to Kevin Kerr, the playwright. A spinal cord injury has left Sanders a quadriplegic, and the elements used to incorporate movement needed to deliver this unique play have resulted in a very successful, albeit, physically challenging production.

The story centres around two brothers – one, an obsessive-compulsive agoraphobic 30-something fellow who still lives with his mother, and the other, an irresponsible, self-absorbed older brother who comes back ‘home’ and challenges his’little bro’ to break out of his confined life. The two take several walks down memory lane, and the banter between the two is often so comical that the audiences’ laughter threatens to drown out the subsequent dialogue. Music from the ’80s is sprinkled throughout the play as the brothers reminisce. Bits by the Parachute Club, Cory Hart, Madonna, to name a few, bring gales of laugher from the audience. And, references to “Flashdance”, Atari, and Chaka Khan do the same.

Kudos to these amazing actors – the physicality of the performance was truly amazing. And two thumbs up to directors Roy Surette and Stephen Drover for bringing to life this extremely entertaining script. It was evident that all who took in last night’s performance were genuinely entertained.

© 2009 Susan Peake