Final plays of Vogt series form enjoyable environment

Vogt C, the last in the series, brings great performances to four new and different plays

In the final addition to the Vogt series, the four plays contained zany characters ranging from a greek muse to a gorilla to Taliban soldiers.
In the final addition to the Vogt series, the four plays contained zany characters ranging from a greek muse to a gorilla to Taliban soldiers.

After Vogts A, B and C this year, it’s clear the four mini plays of Vogt aren’t meant to make sense.

But they still create an enjoyable performance.

In Vogt’s Characters, the dissimilar characters brought together include a Greek muse, two Taliban soldiers, a gorilla and two farmers.

The first play, entitled An Argument, opens with a freshman student sitting at his desk surrounded by coffee cups and crumpled pieces of paper, struggling to write a script. Suddenly, inspiration appears in the form of a perky, Greek-toga-wearing muse, who charmingly dances around the stage and poses, soon getting on the nerves of the student.

Most of the play is written in rhythm and meter and is half-sung, half-spoken, which I thought really added to the lively nature of the play.

Two puppets with black beards and robes abruptly emerge from the large cardboard stand placed at the back of the stage during the second play.

They introduce themselves as two puppeteers acting out a “play-within-a-play” that would involve both the puppeteers and the puppets. Trouble soon arose for the puppeteers, however, as two Taliban soldiers object to the stereotypical puppets they were using.

Despite the politicized nature of the characters, the use of puppets helps to lighten some of the more serious subject matter found in the play.

Dressed head-to-toe in what appeared to be wearable brown shag carpeting, actor Patrick Downes certainly has to be commended for his hysterical performance in You and That Fucking Gorilla, the second play of the evening.

I often found myself laughing out loud at his facial expressions or merely the absurdity of the situations. The lighting in this play was used to good effect as red lighting was used during an ominous moment when a character picked up a meat cleaver. The last play, however, brought back a more upbeat vibe.

It’s performed entirely to the tune and lyrics of the classic children’s song “There’s a Hole in My Bucket.” Though the song written for “Dear Liza” is quite repetitive, the dialogue was kept interesting — and often highly amusing — by the actors’ actions and tones of voice.

It’s the subtle touches to the play like the smell of cake batter wafting into the audience’s seats that made me feel involved in the play.

Just like Vogt’s previous play, I walked out of the theatre room with a smile, though this time with the words to “There’s a Hole in My Bucket” still stuck in my head.

First with Vogt’s Anomalies, then Vogt’s Behaviours and now Vogt’s Characters, it’s obvious that the shows’ lack of cohesion is exactly what makes them a Vogt show.

Vogt C: Vogt’s Characters runs in the Vogt Studio tonight and tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m.

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