Friday, April 30, 2004

Theatre Thursday. Well, okay, actually it's Friday now.

Just wanted to recommend a show I saw tonight: Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love. Brad Fraser's breakthrough 1990 play is being remounted at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre right now and I recommend it heartily.

I've heard about this play for a long time, but I had never seen it before. Using a serial-killer mystery as his framework, Fraser wrote an investigation into the confusion and treacherousness of love and relationships in our ultramodern times. It still seems really timely today. To me at least.

The second act is a little lame at times and the ending feels really anticlimactic. Some of the acting in this production is a little off, as well. But I loved it. I was absolutely riveted during the first act and was genuinely unsettled during intermission. In fact, I'm still a little unsettled.

Anyway, the play is an excellent example of how you can drape new ideas and characters onto even the most cliched of narrative structures (the murder mystery) and emerge with something really original and cohesive. Many young writers think that in order to do something new, you need to reinvent the wheel. Not so.

Plus, Fraser has some really dazzling lines up his sleeve. In Unidentified Human Remains, most of them go to David, the nihilistic gay man at the heart of the play. It took me a few scenes to warm to actor Damien Atkins as David, but soon I was really into his performance.

There are a few bits of dialogue I'm dying to quote, but I'm going to get them wrong. Maybe I'll pick up the script at Theatrebooks tomorrow...

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