Bob Shivery is in a bit of a tight situation. He can’t seem to tell the woman that he loves, that he, in fact does love her. That and he seems to have a pesky devil trying to sabotage his life. This all comes complete with pipeline water travel and travelling from Saskatchewan by bicycle in Lunchbox Theatre’s production of The Bob Shivery Show.
The play opens to The Bob Shivery Show, complete with game show sound design and a mirror ball lighting. Bob (Trevor Rueger) runs up to the stage, exclaiming “that’s me!” We then see him typing away at his laptop, updating his blog at his place of work, the post office. He writes about Germaine (Esther Purves-Smith) whom we find out, he feels very strongly about. He types: “There – woman, here – man. Don’t look now but there’s a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon yawning at your feet. What does it take to bridge that gap?” Bob then goes on a journey to explore this concept as he learns that Germaine is moving to Calgary to be with an oil man that she met just recently.
Enter Frank (David Lereaney) who wants Bob to sign his contract, but it is unclear what his terms, deliverables, or form of payment are. It becomes clear that Frank is the devil in pink (as he is clad in all pink) hoping to bring Bob into the fold. Frank seems to put many obstacles in the way, from having him arrested by a stubborn cop (Karen Johnson-Diamond) to running him over with a truck. The play starts to blur the lines, edging into the absurd especially when Bob dives into a pipe to wind up in Calgary.
The Bob Shivery Show features a great, sensitive performance by Rueger. He is earnest and amiable while intelligently avoiding the devil and his tricks at every turn. Lereaney is great as Frank, right down to his evil laugh. Purves-Smith does a great job as the love interest, subtly portraying her frustration at Bob and being under Frank’s spell.
Scott Reid’s set and lighting design are of note. The stage continuously spins featuring the striped white and blue walls of the set as the post office, jail and house. The video projections are simple and illustrative. Julia Wasilewski’s costume choices are interesting, featuring Frank head to toe in pink, right down to his shoes.
The Bob Shivery Show is a simple little story about taking that leap and often, the journey it takes to get there.
The Bob Shivery Show runs at Lunchbox Theatre until the 29th. Tickets are available online.
(Three stars out of five)
Photo Credit: Benjamin Laird