At the Theatre: Gargamel

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Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. And sometimes, to cope, people need to lash out at something – anything – just to help make sense of it.

That’s more or less the premise behind Gargamel, a new tragicomedy by Trent Wilkie and the folks over at Mostly Water Theatre.

The play revolves around David (Wilkie), a man who’s survived a terrible car crash that left him badly injured, and stole his fiancee (Ellen Chorley). He’s coping – but only just – and, well, he’s not all there anymore. He’s badly depressed, suffering from blackouts and headaches, is haunted by a bitter Louis Riel (Matt Stanton), and has decided that his problems are largely the result of God.

And he’s going to kick God’s ass.

Concerned – and rightly so – David’s sister (Joleen Ballendine) decided some therapy would good for him. So she arranges for him to meet with her yoga-instructor, a new-age guru named Alex Andre (Craig Buchert) who tries to help him out.

As a play, Gargamel is well staged, with some smart video worked into the show – so a kudos to director Mike Robertson. There are also¬† some really funny moments that had Nita and I laughing out loud. And there’s some stand-out performances. In particular, we really liked Craig Buchert’s spiritual “doctor” and Matt Stanton’s snarky ghost.

Does David get to fight God? Does he get the catharsis he’s desperately in need of? What’s up with Louis Riel being there, anyway? Guess you’ll have to check it out.

Gargamel runs until March 5 at the Varscona Theatre. You can get advance tickets at TIX on the square, or buy them at the door.

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