REVIEW: Trashman’s Dilemma @ Ottawa Fringe 2012

Scruffy Theatre Production’s Trashman’s Dilemma takes us into a world where speech has been replaced by telepathic communication via implant in the brain and shows us men learning to communicate verbally once more when their implants fail them.

The cast of Trashman’s Dilemma tell you why you should see it:

Trouble with the video? Watch directly on Youtube.

The Trashman’s Dilemma is about two soldiers in a post-apocalyptic future, where talking is no longer necessary thanks to computer chips implanted in their head.  When they are abandoned in a dead zone where their chips don’t work, they are forced to talk and soon realize they are not the only ones in the zone.

What’s so impressive and noteworthy about the Trashman’s Dilemma  is that the three actors switch roles for every performance, so you get a different show each time and it encourages audiences to come back. It’s a pretty clever marketing strategy. What’s more, all three actors are great in the show, and when this is coupled with an intriguing story and design, it makes for one of the most compelling shows in the fringe circuit. Even if you can’t see it all three times, you should still see it at least once, because The Trashman’s Dilemma is a strong four.

Allan’s followup:

Trashman’s Dilemma was very interesting if not a touch too far out of the box and odd at some points. While the story was largely interesting – two soldiers in a dystopic future become “redundant” and meet up with an outcast civilian in an abandoned building and learn something about themselves – Trashman’s Dilemma feels more like a piece written to show off the abilities of the actors than to convey any story or ask any deeper questions. The interesting concept of rediscovering language in a world where people generally speak via telepathic implant was only touched on a very shallow level, and it was more about the dramatic tension between these three very at odds characters. The fact that a big selling point for the show was that the actors rotate roles every night doesn’t dissuade me from believing this was more about the acting exercise.

Does that make it bad? Not at all. The actors - Eric Bleyendaal, Michael Adam Hogan, Andrei Preda - are very, very strong, at least in the roles I saw them playing. They were fully engrossing playing out their individual conflicts and characters – and since each of the three characters was very different from one another, extra kudos to them if they’re able to play each character with the same gusto. Just go in expecting deep character relations and stories rather than getting any answers about the world they live in or deeper understanding about language or the human condition – which the promo might suggest. High three.

- by Allan Mackey


Kurt Shantz

About Kurt Shantz

Kurt Shantz is a Theatre and Scriptwriting graduate and an occasional Should You See It reviewer. He currently works as a warehouse clerk, but has big aspirations of someday achieving his dream of becoming a senior warehouse clerk. He's also been known to write on occasion.

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