“(Everybody I Love Has) A Horrible Destiny (Befall Them)” at VideoCabaret Toronto – However Will You Dare to Love and Be Cherished by it?

Coming into with a quivering lip and a tense trembling foot, Cliff Cardinal (Soulpepper’s Huff), playwright and performer on this invested VideoCabaret manufacturing of (Everybody I Love Has) A Horrible Destiny (Befall Them) is a charming, and suitably uncomfortable presence. The repetition of the title fully resonates, because it does in his life. He, one after the other, lists off all of the loves of his life which have had horrific fates befall them. And we are able to’t assist however lean in, whereas leaning again, all on the identical time. The spectacular record of catastrophes is epic in its creation, dashing shortly and articulately from crushed windpipes from a docile horse, via overdoses, all the way in which to amputations. It’s powerfully participating, and simpler, he believes, and rightly so, that remaining emotionally disconnected and wanting nothing from anybody of significance is the one approach ahead. And after that record, we kind of agree.

Cliff Cardinal in VideoCabaret’s (Everybody I Love Has) A Horrible Destiny (Befall Them). Picture Credit score Michael Cooper.

The framework elicits a powerful emotional response, one crammed with difficult reactions that don’t coordinate collectively effectively. It’s spectacular, this fractured duality, because the 80-minute present spins itself ahead on the intimate VideoCabaret (in affiliation with Crow’s Theatre), and by no means falters in its unprecedented supply of his absurdist journey. It’s fueled with a seemingly endless cocaine snort, right here and there, edging the vitality towards chaos, as his story of cursed love runs quick and furiously ahead. It’s relentless and stumbling at instances, when phrases and concepts really do battle in his thoughts and tongue, attempting to get out of itself as shortly as potential. It’s fascinatingly darkish and delirious, forging ahead with a limp, twisted snarl, daring us to disagree, however conserving us considerably eliminated as if he’s anxious that this destiny and his curse may envelop us all in its darkish deadliness.

In (Everybody I Love Has) A Horrible Destiny (Befall Them), director and dramaturg Karin Randoja (Buddies in Unhealthy Instances’ Gertrude and Alice) unravels this darkish curse solidly in sections of layered storytelling, paneled by three formulations entitled: “LOVE,” “CURSED,” and “FATE,” courtesy of set and props designer JB Nelles (Toronto Fringe’s Dancer). Every is given an in depth framework and a fancy concept to play with, edging the story in the direction of an unknown consequence with trembling and jerky deliberation. Cardinal by no means disconnects with this manic drug-fueled vitality and desperation, however embraces it, pulling his jacket on and off with frantic unfocused formality. It’s deliciously tough to soak up generally, as he begrudgingly takes on different types, together with the rambling “cribbage nazi” neighbor or the hockey-card psychic addict, with tremors of worry and disgust radiating outward, by no means failing to hit the goal.

Cliff Cardinal in VideoCabaret’s (Everybody I Love Has) A Horrible Destiny (Befall Them). Picture Credit score Michael Cooper.

Every panel feels linked to the chaired house that sits earlier than it, and Cardinal deliciously dives into the vitality of every as if pushed to exasperation and desperation by the dis-love of his mom. Staring out from the earthshine circle of sunshine that he desires to be inside him, designed strongly by Raha Javanfar (CS’s Is God Is), the play unpacks the dilemma that stands earlier than this achingly nervous man, costumed completely by Sage Paul (Indigenous Style Arts), with out ever actually giving him a simple out. It’s jagged and scrambled, with photographs of asteroids crashing into arenas, killing hundreds, all due to a second of common love that radiated out from this troubled man’s thoughts.

As off-balanced because the cabinets are behind him, Cardinal journeys ahead, looking for his disappearing-act approach via life in a misplaced Northern metropolis, hoping that distance and a harsh mindset will save all of those that need to return shut. Together with himself. In his desperation, he enters a unifying house that he hopes is protected; a assist group created only for broken souls like himself, run by an endangered, however clever white rhino who unleashes knowledge that’s magnificently revealed from behind the cursed curtain. It’s one of many extra compelling moments in a bit that generally doesn’t appear to know the place it’s taking us. The play appears to exist, at instances, solely to be thematically quirky and interesting. Which is dynamic, however with out an endpoint, now we have to marvel why we’re climbing in for the experience.

The sneering outwards of this character and the edgy speed-talking work as a technique to each maintain us protected and at a distance, saving us from his lethal love-giving, whereas additionally giving us simply sufficient of a purpose to lean in. When he connects with the viewers, as he does over cough drops and sleepiness, it feels distinctive and disparagingly compelling; harmless however weak, with an fringe of anger and frustration. However at different instances, his chaotic hyperactive supply retains us one step too far eliminated, questioning what this cursed endeavor is in the end about. The desperation for love and hate feels expansive and interesting, as if we’re watching some self-fulfilling prophecy turn out to be accelerated and inflated past the conceivable. And in that, (Everybody I Love Has) A Horrible Destiny (Befall Them) is a marvel, because it reveals, however perhaps not absolutely embraces, this compelling components. However perhaps that’s what’s conserving us protected from his curse. Alive. And out of hazard.

Cliff Cardinal in VideoCabaret’s (Everybody I Love Has) A Horrible Destiny (Befall Them). Picture Credit score Michael Cooper.

(Everybody I Love Has) A Horrible Destiny (Befall Them) runs at VideoCabaret (10 Busy St.) till November 12. For tickets and knowledge, click on right here.

Originally posted 2023-10-28 04:04:39.