Ever wondered what profound effect your favourite kids’ show has had on your development? Like A Generation presented by the Coyote Collective tells the story of “The Mr. Flowers Show”, a fictional children’s television series that has deeply impacted two of its lifelong fans. Growing up watching the show, both characters have learned a great deal on a variety of topics; however, they find they still have plenty to learn about themselves.
Having won the Best of Fringe at the Toronto Fringe last year, Coyote Collective brings this production to our own St-Ambroise Fringe. Despite being a relatively new theatre company, the collective has achieved critical success since their production of Labour, an original piece co-written and directed by Eric Welch, one of this plays actors.
Mr. Flowers is a fun man in clown makeup who wants nothing more than to see others happy. The immediate reaction upon seeing his painted face would suggest that the production is a comedy, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong in that assessment as the show is quite funny; however, it also tackles deep-seeded problems that are ever present in the millennial generation. Each character is wrestling with their own inner demons and with what it means to be who they are in the year 2017. For this reviewer, their problems seemed all too real and incredibly relatable – making this show a must-see for anyone who feels as though they can never do enough in a world where everything and everyone is just a click away.
The set is sparse but creates a clear image of a children’s show with a trunk full of toys and a carpet that is reminiscent of a child’s play room. The stage is also used in an almost literal sense as the play takes place on the sound stage of the Mr. Flowers show. The actors use this to their own whim and walk off and on the Montreal Improv stage creating a very realistic atmosphere of the story’s setting.
What really makes this play what it is are the stellar performances by these 3 intrepid actors: Susannah Mackay, Blue Bigwood-Malin, and Eric Welch. Bigwood-Malin as Mr. Flowers offers some much-needed levity in an otherwise heavy-handed play. Mackay and Welch both offer conflicting views on how to live your life as a bourgeoning millennial adult. These combative views create for a powerful conflict and make us truly care about each character’s journey. While each actor is given their respective moments to shine, it is perhaps Mackay’s powerful emotional journey that makes this play a must-see for the Fringe this year.
The opening performance of Like a Generation was at 12:00 AM and therefore unfortunately the house was far from full. However, after having seen this creation, it is of this reviewer’s opinion that no following show should or will be anything less than packed. A clever introspection into today’s society partnered with good hearty laughs make Like a Generation a personal favourite and a play worth seeing! You can catch the remaining performances at Montreal Improv until June 17th.
Review by Montreal Theatre Hub Fringe Contributor David Hudon
Coyote Collective presents “Like a Generation”
When: June 8 – 17, 2017
Where: Montreal Improv Theatre A, 3697 Saint-Laurent Blvd.
Duration: 55 minutes
Tickets: www.montrealfringe.ca | 514.849.FEST (3378)
Official Media Partner of the 2017 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival