Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – Jon Bennett: My Dad’s Deaths
Review by Chad Jarvie-Laidlaw – Showbill.ca Editorial Director
September 1, 2017
Hilarious and heartfelt, Jon Bennett explores the ups and downs of his relationship with his father in his characteristically fever-pitched piece My Dad’s Deaths.
Much like his previously produced works at Victoria Fringe (Fire In The Meth Lab and Pretending Things Are A Cock), Bennett delivers an autobiographical account of his growing up in the Outback, this time with emphasis on the character of his father and how their time together shaped him. It becomes clear that his father is extremely accident prone, hence the many deaths, and without giving the details away, his ability to choke on substances will likely leave you in stitches. At its core, My Dad’s Deaths is a piece about looking for acceptance, and perhaps a hint of pride from one’s father, and even amidst the comedic mishaps there’s real emotional depth to emotional tribute from Bennett to his dad.
Bennett is an expert storyteller, and through use of props and PowerPoint he never lets you go. Borrowing from the traditions of bush poets, we get great terrible poetry, bizarre Facebook posts, and even some acrobatics. At his slowest, the pace of the piece could best be described as break-neck, so make sure you get seats as close as you can. The venue, while compatible with the overall feel of the piece, has terrible acoustics, which makes it a little difficult to follow along at the most blistering moments. Still, Bennett knows when to let a moment breathe so that the audience can catch their breath before the next ridiculous event unfolds from his life.
Delivered with his bemused exasperation, Jon Bennett is a touching tribute to his father, imperfect as he may be. Jon is probably the funniest storyteller on the Fringe circuit, and My Dad’s Deaths is an absolute must-see.
Created by Jon Bennett
Victoria Fringe Festival
Venue 1 (Victoria Event Centre)
- Sept 1 @ 5:00pm
- Sept 2 @ 6:00pm
- Sept 3 @ 3:15pm