Don’t let its description in the Vancouver Fringe Festival guide fool you; Mac Attack bears little resemblance to its listing. But while you might not get what is advertised, this odd little show does work and should leave you wanting more.
In his publicity materials, playwright Michael Beamish admits to having written three new drafts of Mac Attack since it first appeared at Fort McMurray’s interPLAY and the Edmonton Fringe.
“A script is never finished. It is always alive, with new insights and deeper truths that want to be told,” he says in his release. “When I originally wrote and produced Mac Attack it was a comedy about a Fort Mac redneck/conspiracy theorist who built a bomb shelter so he and his buddy could survive a perceived WW3 and eventually builds a new society out of the rubble.”
But while the two buddies and the bomb shelter remain in this latest version, the show has morphed into a surreal story of unrequited love.
Starting off on a strange rant about religion that seems like it came from a different play, Beamish quickly settles into the central premise of his story in which Teevo (Jeff Hoffman) lures his long-time friend Daryl (Tanner Chubb) to his home under the guise of rekindling their friendship. Instead Teevo confesses his love for Daryl, in the hopes the two will live out their days together in what we discover is a bomb shelter complete with a 50 years supply of fresh water.
Both Hoffman and Chubb give us some wonderfully believable moments when they do not have to deal with some rather dreadful dialogue; when Beamish forgoes the tired clichés and focuses on the two men it has the ability to suck you in completely.
Its rather abrupt ending is as surprising as how much I enjoyed Mac Attack and left me wanting more. In his PR material, Beamish confesses that Mac Attack needs “another rewrite maybe two or three”. I hope he keeps that promise because there is something definitely worth continuing to explore here.
Written and directed by Michael Beamish. An Eye Flower Productions presentation as part of the 2013 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.