Small Town Boys is a one-man show written and performed by Sean Leclaire Casey, originally a Canadian who now lives in Boston Mass. Casey's powerful tale is his own story of growing up in a small rough town outside of Montreal. Those were the days when being a man meant being tough and affection was shown more through closed fists than clasped hands.
The stage setting effectively creates a ghostly memory of the Freeman Pub, a central character from the story of the lives of these Small Town boys. Casey interacts with the tables and chairs to take us across time and space to meet the boys and men of his youth and tell their tragic tales. It was the most 'theatrical' of the staging I have seen yet at the Fringe.
The show lives up to its billing. It left me and others I spoke to with a sense of regret and loss for those sensitive souls that were entrapped in certain expectations of maleness. The stereotype of the macho male that is forged in those small towns is very much relevant in today's world where a resurgent view of the hyper-masculine, testosterone poisoned male is admired in some quarters of society.
The show is an excellent educational piece to provoke discussion about gender stereotyping, social pressure to conform, and the potential to escape the conditioning of one's childhood.
Small Town Boys is playing at Waterfront Theatre 6 - 16 September as part of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Evelyn McKelvie
Click "read more" for the full video transcript.
Evelyn McKelvie here, I'm outside the Waterfront theatre and I'm just getting ready to go in to see Small Town Boys, a one-man show by Sean LeClaire Casey, about his memoirs of growing up in Quebec, in a small town. This is for the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival and I will see you later.
Hi Theatre addicts, it's Evelyn McKelvie again. I've just come out of Small Town Boys. I got to sit with a couple of friends. And it's a very moving show. It's a one-man show, all the ones I've seen so far have been one-man shows. And again, autobiographical. There are many characters in this story. The actor and the writer has set up the stage with three or four tables. There's the sort of primary background scene is this tavern in Quebec.
It's the story of growing up and coming of age. It's ... there's the actor, writer behind me here. Good lighting, well told story. Much more than my expectations in fact, in terms of what the story contained. Very rich, and very interesting story of males growing up, especially in rural Quebec. Starting out in one of the towns outside of Montreal. Mixed culture of French, English, Irish, Scots, and the enormous pressure that's put on young men, young boys to be men, to be tough, to be able to withstand anything, to be able to beat up other people and win in a fight.
I want to mention in particular there were a number of people involved in the production. Sean LeClaire Casey is the author and the performer. He wants to acknowledge Lisa Dalton who has been his mentor and teacher, Bonnie Allan, Laura Coleman, and Megan Phillips. I don't know what their role is directly in the production, perhaps coaching him. I don't know if there's lighting people, or sound people. There is some sound. Great lighting. Lisa Dalton plays the role of director, I believe, in this production.
So I strongly encourage you to come out and see this one. It's on a couple more times, and so again Evelyn McKelvie for 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival. And please feel free to comment below this review or any of the reviews. You can find us at Theateraddicts.com, there's a Facebook page and there's a YouTube channel. So come and enjoy the Vancouver Fringe. Thanks.
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