Fringe Review 2016 – Darkness, Light, Truth, and Lies

By Jay Menard,

How do you tell someone something they don’t already know when you don’t even know what you know?

Passionfool Theatre’s latest production features Justin Quesnelle reproducing Here Lies Henry, a 1995 play written by Daniel MacIvor. We enter this world out of darkness into the light. We have experiences. And then we exit the world of light, back through a tunnel of dark.

So are we our experiences? What can we share that is new, when we don’t know what is real? Or what if what is real is all just a lie – what if that lie is perpetuated by ourselves? And what if those experiences are only recitations of lies, performed by the liar?

Quesnelle’s Henry Tom Gallery delivers the production with a masterful collection of nervous ticks, stutters, and telling moments. The cough after saying the word “father,” the nervous laughter after saying “mother,” and the establishment of new endings using the same rhetorical set-up. Are we witnessing a man at the end of the road? Or is it a man at the end of his rope?

Here Lies Henry is delivered in a commanding stream-of-consciousness style. Quesnelle’s delivery is impeccable. He attacks the story with a force that demands the audience’s attention and each utterance, each movement, and each story is analyzed, questioned, and pondered.

Many of the lies are clear. But how much of the truth is real? What is love? What is compromise? Here Lies Henry is a presentation that leaves you with the task of finding the answers. And it’s a production that’s well worth experiencing even if the experience leaves you exhausted.

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