Grim & Fischer

Full disclosure: when I laugh, I sound like the child of a hyena and a guinea pig. It’s not cute. It’s not endearing. It’s a tad frightening. But honestly, I’m having a good time.

I just caught Wonderheads’ Grim & Fischer at the Metro Studio (Venue 3) had me laughing, and then had me silent, as did the rest of the audience.

In the show, Death is trying to take the life of an old lady, but she’s not the archetypal hard-candy loving shrinking violet. She’s feisty as can be, and proves it with impressive cardio workouts and a Rocky-style montage. Death? Well, he’s tall and grey and imposing. He’s got a schedule to keep. And really, he can’t put up with this delay!

Moments that had me hyena-pigging were mostly in the early stages, and all of the pranks (and potty humor) of our heroine were dominant. And then, there were some very touching moments. I won’t give it away, because I thought it was very beautiful. There were for sure some sniffles in the house.

I briefly studied full-face mask in theatre school, and it’s a difficult art to master. The mask doesn’t do all of the work for you: your body has to take over all of the expression, and every gesture has meaning. The masks were artfully crafted. A shift of the head would reveal a completely different expression in the mask: joy, contempt, playfulness … and the convention worked well.

And as a theatre geek, I loved it. Trying to think from the perspective of a friend who might not have my background, I think there’s something in it for everyone.

It was at times a little scary – blasts of Mozart’s Requiem play the foreboding notes of Fischer’s impeding demise – so, not best for the wee ones.

This isn’t a performance form you get to see a whole lot, and Grim & Fischer hits the right note.

There’s an art to subtlety that mask gives a performer. When you’re muted, it’s amazing what you’re able to say.

Click here for Wonderheads website.

Grim & Fischer plays at Venue 3 (Metro Theatre).

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