By: Walter Ruff
MisterMan is forty five minutes of Dan Brick and that alone is enough reason for anyone to see this one man show at DCAC. Mr. Brick is able to take command of an audience with great skill. His has an ability to bring a smile to your face while knowing full well that his character should be bringing fear to your heart instead. Boyish grins, wide, brilliant shining eyes, Dan pulls you into his character Thomas McGill and once you are comfortable with him lets you in on the little secret that he is keeping – Thomas is mad!. He also has a goal — he wants to share God with his fellow townspeople. Aided by just a radio, Thomas walks you through his small town in Ireland to meet some interesting characters – he even lets you know his intimate feelings for a newly found love interest. But then there is that pesky secret, you see… Thomas is a bit violent and when his female interest spurns his advances Thomas gets more than a bit out of sorts.
Edna Walsh’s MisterMan tells the story of a likeable character that because of his mental instabilitiy frightens and shocks us. Obsessions can become ugly, be it religion or sports, health or politics and when they do it gives us pause to investigate how everything got so out of hand. Solas Nua nor Edna Walsh offer us answers, that is left for the audience to ponder.
The DCAC is a small black box which of course is perfect for a one man show. A simple rope swing and a dark grey suit make up the stage design. The suit is a symbol of Thomas’s deceased father and a bit more that I will leave for the reader to witness at the show. The lighting by Marianne Meadows was imaginative and well designed. Chris Pifer’s sound design is composed of a radio that plays dialog between Dan and his mother along with some pretty amazing background sound effects — coupled with the aforementioned lighting they create an eerie feeling of impending doom.
This work is a very edgy piece of theatre that leaves one wanting to know more about Mr. Walsh along with his other writings — I think that is part of what theatre is about. My program said this will be the last one man show for Mr. Brick because of health, commitment and talent. Let me assure you that Mr. Brick’s talent is a treasure everyone should discover.