Belly Up

The mirror scene in the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup must produce in the viewer one of two reactions: delight mingled with awe, or a ho-hum attitude which snaps, “Let’s see them keep that up for another hour!” If you fall into the latter camp, you’re most likely a member of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, whose technically ambitious new show, Belly Up, demands of its lead (and only) actor that he follow precisely the movements of a prerecorded video of himself, which plays throughout on a screen behind him.

Robert Chafe, who also wrote the script, stars as a blind man who has lived his whole life under the forbidding guidance of his mother, until one horrifying day she disappears. Meanwhile, the food supply for his beloved pet fish has all but dried up, and suddenly his crippling fear of independence becomes a matter of life and death—for both himself and the fish.

If the live video mirror device doesn’t seem impressive enough by itself, the whole show is synched to a score by Lori Clarke. In any case, none of your senses is likely to go home hungry.

Belly Up continues nightly at the LSPU Hall from Apr 26 – Apr 29 at 8pm. Thursday and Saturday’s shows will be followed by a talk-back session. Tickets are $20 or $17 (students/seniors). Pay-what-you-can matinee Apr 29 at 2pm

— Jonathan Adams