BWW Review: RED BASTARD: LIE WITH ME Exposes the Lovers and Liars in Us All
What can you learn about yourself from a man wearing a red bag full of balloons? More than you might think, if that bag of balloons happens to be Red Bastard, the bouffon (a mocking type of clown) created by Eric Davis. In his devilishly funny new show, RED BASTARD: LIE WITH ME (which is headed to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month), Davis uses Red Bastard to explore the lies we tell in the name of love. The show is the Week 4 offering at CoHo's Summerfest.
RED BASTARD: LIE WITH ME is not a performance for the meek. You will participate, and you might be forced to admit some things, at least to yourself, that will make you squirm. Like - do you lie? Have you ever cheated on a partner? And what exactly is cheating anyway?
It's this last question that the show revolves around as it seeks to understand the complicated rules (and double standards) we have about love and fidelity. Throughout the show, Davis transitions between being Red Bastard and being Eric, illustrating how our crazy rules work to both our advantage and our detriment when it comes to having real relationships with real people.
I enjoyed the show. It was funny and engaging and didn't let anyone off the hook. I found the Red Bastard parts more effective than the Eric parts, because they were more personal and also because the stakes were higher. They were also funnier, putting you in this weird place of confessing your deep, dark secrets to a roomful of strangers and finding the whole thing rather hilarious.
RED BASTARD: LIE WITH ME will take you to a place you probably haven't been before - at least not sitting in a theatre. Also, it's entertaining to watch Davis clown around dressed as a bag of balloons.
There's one more week of Summerfest - a new devised work by the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble. More details here.
Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne