Reviews - Fringe 2019


By Julian Nicholson
Published July 24, 2019

Monster, written by Daniel MacIvor, is a Canadian classic. It's a one-man play that starts in a darkened movie theatre. All is quiet, then behind the audience a voice is heard telling someone to shut up, and the play starts.

The stage is bare except for a cube at centre stage. The actor, Colin Bruce Anthes, spends the first 15 minutes or so on this cube, weaving through characters and events. He must do a lot of weaving, as he plays multiple characters through events separated by many years. Eventually he uses more of the stage, but it's a striking piece of acting.

The show revolves around a gruesome murder, and the evens after, and the events that lead up to it. The connections are not immediately apparent, and the script jumps back and forth between different characters at different times, but eventually, at the end, connections are made and the show, like the Worm Ouroboros, eats its own tale.

This play is challenging to both actor and director, and both Colin Bruce Anthes and director Sean Aileen McClelland have met the challenge in spades.

The characters vary; a teenager telling a story about a gruesome murder of a father by a young neighbour. Quarrelling lovers who fight, then decide to get married after seeing a movie about a father hacked up by his son.

A recovering alcoholic who pitches an idea to a producer for a movie about a father hacked up by his son, but never gets credit for it, and finally the producer who tries to make but never completes the movie.

The play balances tension and humour nicely, and the pace keeps driving relentlessly to the conclusion, dragging the audience along with it.

This a play you must see at The Fringe. Great writing, great acting, great directing.

Julian Nicholson is an actor, writer, and director and has participated in the Hamilton Fringe for many years. Julian has been acting since he attended McMaster in the 1980s, and has extensive experience in professional, alternative, and little theatre. He is also a full member of ACTRA.


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