The Winnipeg Fringe Festival started yesterday, and while I haven’t purchased a Frequent Fringer pass like I did last year, there are one or two shows that I do hope to see. The first of these shows was It’s Yes, or to give the show it’s full title It’s Yes: A One Man Mockery of All Things Human, by Drek Daa. Drek is an acquaintance of mine and the owner of the CYRK.
My first impression of the show was that it wasn’t quite what I was expecting it to be. This was based somewhat on the little bit of performance I have seen from Drek in the past and part on the use of the word mockery in the title. I was expecting something along the lines of a series of disconnected vignettes, and a heavier dose of cynicism. Instead, what I got was an impassioned plea for people to take care of each other and the earth we live on.
As you probably figured out from the full title, It’s Yes, is a comedy. So, in asking myself if I can recommend it, the first question, as I have stated elsewhere is whether or not the show is funny. This show is definitely funny. There is humour not only in the script, but also a great deal of visual humour. In fact, the main character is a man in clown makeup wearing a fish, (you’ll have to see the show to find out why).
The show tells the story of Darko a fisherman, but really tells the story of the way in which our world has got to the place it is in, with particular reference to the world banking crisis of 2008. This show actually does quite a good job of explaining the way in which that happened without veering into long, detailed explanations that are only understood by economists and would only serve to bore the audience, as I suspect it bores most economists. The show also concerns itself with the way in which we live increasingly isolationist lives.
There is an insertion in the show of five small vignettes, drawn from Drek’s own life, that in some ways illustrate the themes he is talking about, but in other ways, don’t seem to fit with the general flow and theme of the show.
After detailing the woes besetting the world, the show, in it’s final twenty minutes or so, moves from a tone of despair, to one of hope, exemplified in the presence of a young child, very well played by a young actor by the name of Keenan, and calls for an abandonment of the present disastrous course we are on for one in which we work together.
So that’s a few comments on the play. There were a few technical glitches, and I think the sound on some of the recorded voice material could be raised just a little bit. Without a sound technician, this is after all a Fringe play, it’s hard to control the sound properly, but I think a little more volume on the recorded spoken bits, would have a substantial effect.
I do not hesitate to recommend that you go and see this play. Yes, there are some things you might find a little off putting, but not as many as I suspected. I really would encourage church groups that are interested in seeing Fringe plays and then discussing them later to go and see this play, particularly if you are part of a church that follows the Lectionary.
If you follow the Lectionary, you know that the current Epistle readings are all from Paul’s letter to the Romans. Much of the first part of that letter deals with the war of life and death that is waged within all people. In many ways, It’s Yes, could be read as an atheistic reading of the book of Romans. Let me be clear, by atheistic I’m not referring to it as being a denial of the existence of God, but rather that it is done without any real reference to God, what my friend Tim Perry refers to as practical atheism, (you can read some of Tim’s thoughts and link to his lectures on atheism here). Drek’s own upbringing is Roman Catholic, and I don’t think that the Pauline undercurrent is his show is accidental.
So, if you are looking for a show that opens the possibility of theological discussion afterward, go see It’s Yes. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a show that will make you laugh, go see It’s Yes.