Company: Horse and Engine
Genre: Play — Dramedy
Venue: 27 — Rudolf Rocker Cultural Centre
Would you take a one way ticket to Mars?
Apparently thousands of Earthlings would, as demonstrated by the flood of applications for the Mars One project, which aims to put a human colony on the red planet.
That's where Angie St. Mars and Johanna Burdon's play picks up, imagining everything from the behind-the-scenes marketing of Mars One to its selection process, to life on Mars through a series of vignettes, all narrated by recorded interviews of Winnipeggers talking about the project.
And it makes for an out-of-this-world black comedy.
Burdon delivers a remarkably funny and physical solo performance, easily one of the best comic turns I've seen so far at the festival. She plays everyone from Mars One founder Bas Landorp, to scheming TV execs, to socially awkward applicants with precise characterizations and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy.
But it would be easy to simply poke fun at people who want to live on Mars. St. Mars and Burdon push their play further, giving it emotional heft by narrowing in on the story of one would-be Martian settler. It ends up taking us on a moving exploration of what it would really mean to leave home — forever.
It's not flashy, but this is one of those unexpected Fringe gems that surprises with its near-perfect blend of humour and pathos. Book your ticket for Mars One.