The entertainment scene has been pretty dry since COVID-19 hit Windsor-Essex back in March with very little activity across the region. Toss in some clowns seven months later and you’d swear there was no downtime at all. Seriously, I mean that. You’d actually swear… a lot.
In the first fully staged public theatrical performance in Windsor since March, Post Productions holds nothing back for its current run of John Clancy’s political madhouse Fatboy. There’s anger, rage, murder and insanity as clowns run the show. And we’re not talking about a cast of buffoonish Donald Trump’s here. It’s a full fledged carnival of insane clowns ruling the world’s most self-important country.
There’s not much to like about the main character Fatboy, performed by Joey Wright, who appeared in a version of the show eight years ago by Korda Artistic Productions. And that makes him all the more loveable. He’s a sick twisted bugger whose love of money and power is greater than his love of humanity (sounds familiar doesn’t it?).
Fast-moving, shocking, profane and fubar, Fatboy is funhouse mirror reflection of the world today, telling the story of the gluttonous Fatboy and his monstrous wife, Queen Fudgie the First (Michele Legere), as they each stand trial for war crimes. Despite overwhelming evidence, the Court refuses to convict and succumbs to Fatboy’s “persuasive” tactics. It’s a powerhouse show packed with at least ten of the seven deadly sins (I’ve added stupidity, insanity and foolhardy to the list for good measure).
It’s a seemingly fitting story for a COVID-torn world where a clownish Donald Trump is reigning President of the United States of America. You know, a world where the leader of the free world gets his odd and quirky messages to his country in short 280 character Twitter messages, where he’s no doubt chomping on McDonalds fries while he types it. Fatboy is pretty much life as we know it dressed up in clown shoes – just a few weeks ahead of the US election.
Post does a great job with this brazen script, separated into three short 20-minute segments. It’s the perfect length for a mask wearing audience, leaving time for a few deep breaths of outside air before the next act. Like most staged productions of Fatboy, they’ve tweaked and added to the script, using a nod to Canada and even a jab at the Ontario government’s COVID rules.
Audiences will love the combo of Wright and Legere as Fatboy and Fudgie, who sometimes break character, almost as if to remind us that Fatboy is a just a work of fiction. Wright especially takes his Fatboy seriously and never truly breaks the character open, living up to the axiom that we all have a little Fatboy in us. Legere’s Fudgie, although not as overwhelming as Fatboy, is just as strong and lethargic, making for an excellent dip into insanity.
In some ways Fatboy reminded me of a real life version of the 1938 Warner Brothers cartoon Porky in Wackyland. Fatboy’s world and Wackyland are both places where fantasy and reality meet in a head-on collision of theatrical mastery.
Nikolas Prsa, Joey Ouellette and Fay Lynn round out the cast with multiple roles and so many varying stages of emotion and oddity that you could almost ignore the insanity that surrounds them and watch each actor go through various levels of comedy, mime and lunacy all on their own.
Post does a perfect job providing short acts, well-placed and very limited seating, all while meeting, or even exceeding, Ontario’s COVID restrictions.
If you’re in need of a live entertainment fix that holds nothing back on it’s staging, lighting or performance, Fatboy is the perfect solution for these tough COVID times.
Fatboy continues for two more weekends at The Shaowbox Theatre through Oct. 15-17 and 22-24 with limited seating for all performances. Visit www.postproductionswindsor.ca for more info on tickets and showtimes.