By Jay Menard
Throw out everything you would expect when you think of a grown man in a giant sunflower suit. Brendan Kinnon’s My Life as a 6 ft. Sunflower is a wonderful story about life, death, and renewal that has surprisingly deep roots.
Kinnon is the six-foot-tall Sunflower in question. He enters to a voice over, ostensibly from a National Geographic film crew shooting a documentary on sunflowers. Through circumstance, he misses his ‘shot’ and starts to complain about his lot in life.
You see, Kinnon’s sunflower is a reincarnated human who died, after an unremarkable life, young — and bizarrely. But over the course of the play, Kinnon shares his feelings of inadequacy in life, of feeling disconnected and alone, and that he was missing out.
Now, rooted firmly in the soil amongst thousands of other sunflowers, he slowly discovers that life has purpose, meaning, and a greater connection to the world around him. He discusses the inevitability — and beauty — of life, death, and renewal. And he’s able to look back upon his human life with a little more understanding and appreciation for what life has to offer.
Sunflower is a story that examines our place in life with grace and charm. There’s an element of spirituality without getting preachy; there’s self-reflection without delving into morose self-obsession; and there’s a moral foundation that’s shared without beating the audience over the head with it.
And, at just over a half-hour, it packs a lot of fun dialogue and character growth into a short amount of time.
My Life as a 6 ft. Sunflower is a show that quickly grows on you because it has heart, charm, and those aforementioned deep roots.
**** — four stars out of five
This review originally appeared on theatreinlondon.ca