Jan 25

This is What Happens Next is funny and insightful

by Jenna Shummoogum · 2 comments

Post image for This is What Happens Next is funny and insightful

Daniel MacIvor is well known for his solo work, created in collaboration with director Daniel Brooks. Back in 2006, MacIvor decided that he was done with solo performance, because he felt it was getting in the way of having a real life. He felt like rather than having experiences, he was having material. MacIvor went out and has a real life, and “that went very badly.” So now he’s back, with a show based in truth about his own life entitled This Is What Happens Next.

The first character we meet, named Me, runs to the stage, apologizing for being late. It’s a monologue of humour about lattes and baristas, being 50, and how he’s trying to be less annoyed. It’s a funny, very well timed opening from MacIvor, where he naturally fills in humour and awkward pauses and truly connect with his audience.

The character, in an effort to be less annoyed, tries to look on the bright side of it snowing. Specifically, shoveling, cold feet and icy roads. We then meet Will, who winds up being the narrator of the show. He infuses into the story his own view about happy endings.

Then Warren, a guy who got broken up with and has to go pick up his stuff from his ex is introduced, as is Susan, his lawyer and friend. She is struggling with her two daughters and dating a sexually confused astronomer. We also meet Kevin, a little boy who is around the age of 7 or 8, who makes up stories of giants to cope with his father’s drinking. We also meet his father.

It’s all well put together and MacIvor plays all six characters in quick succession on a stage bare of any props.

This is a show where you can just sit back and watch the threads get woven together. MacIvor has a solid charm in his delivery and all of the characters of the narrative are complex. The story dances around happy endings and is full of insight. It features great lines like “just because we have space, doesn’t mean we have room,” and “I didn’t do what I wanted, I was doing what I was.”

Richard Feren’s sound design pulls the narrative together and the only instant it was off was the Marilyn Manson track that characterized Kevin. Kimberly Purtell’s lighting design is solid.

This is What Happens Next is a great solo performance from MacIvor and is funny and insightful. It takes a mocking look at the act of telling stories and therefore takes a mocking look at MacIvor himself, as he’s made a name for himself telling stories. It’s well done even though it makes use of some theatrical tropes. Just sit back and watch it unfold.

One Yellow Rabbit and Alberta Theatre Projects present Necessary Angel’s production of This is what happens next as part of the High Performance Rodeo. Tickets and more information is available online.
(Four stars out of five)

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