There aren't many companies or performers that could promote a show as a dark satirical physical comedy about rape and murder and actually be able to deliver the goods. Fortunately, after years in the making, The Bouffonery have proven it is more than up for the challenge with We Too Us Too Me Too Too Too and its brutal takedown of the patriarchy through the art of bouffon.
Wearing beige hooded unitards with grotesquely exaggerated growths, the four bouffons (Kimberly Twiner, Ell Sachs, Lucy Kingsley and Nicholas O’Regan) move their way to the centre of the stage where they simulate a series of births that don't go exactly to plan, that is of course, until Jimmy is born. While exploring issues related to gendered violence and toxic masculinity with numerous sketches and scenes, Jimmy is used to ground the show and keep bringing us back to its main idea.Twiner, Sachs, Kingsley and O'Regan form a magnificent ensemble. From the second they appear, they are clearly working as a single unit. It's frightening how good they are at making us laugh one second from the silliness on display and then causing us to tense up mid-laugh by what we're being confronted with. This sharp and often surprising tonal shift is effectively used to call attention to the ways that boys are brought up in society and how society protects men when it should be holding them accountable for their actions.
Lisa Mibus’ intelligent lighting design further strengthens the production, by capturing the warmth of the hilarity being performed while also able to instantly highlight the stark reality of the horror being exposed and alter the mood for the entire audience.
After three attempts at staging We Too Us Too Me Too Too Too, it seems like fourth time was the charm for The Bouffonery in presenting this extremely clever and biting commentary on the society we live in. With incidents of violence against women becoming more and more frequent, it is easy for people to turn the other cheek, but We Too Us Too Me Too Too Too has us looking at it from a very unique and unhinged perspective that makes it impossible to look away. A bold, daring and rewarding experience that serves as a startling wake-up call to what is happening around us.
We Too Us Too Me Too Too Too was performed at La Mama between 26 - 31 July.
Image Credit: Darren Gill
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