Deal with the Dragon at C NovaCultureTheatreEd Fringe
Deal with the Dragon is a strange but enchanting one-man play about a man’s relationship with his life-guardian: the smart-mouthed, sassy, camp German dragon, Brenn. Written and performed by Kevin Rolston, the story moves quickly through what feels like a modern-day, twisted fairy tale, brimming with unfiltered jabs at society and embracing weirdness in a way that is both unique and clever.
Most astonishing about this 70 minute performance is Rolston’s ability to move seamlessly between three vastly different and unrelatable characters within seconds, playing multiple roles even within quickfire quarrels and dialogues. His spot-on accent changes bring his delightful characters to life, and leave audiences wondering about the actor’s true background.
Brenn is at once hilarious – embodying ridiculous stereotypes of gay people, German people and, funnily enough, what you would expect might be stereotypes of dragons – but also ever so slightly malefic. His relationship with his wards makes for occasionally uncomfortable viewing, as the audience is roped into passive participation at AA meetings and school classrooms where the negative effects of having a dragon as a life coach are made blatantly clear. Rolston, his eyes ablaze and arms trembling with draconian indignation and flamboyance, glares the audience in the eye, making it feel as though he is everyone’s personal, exhausting, guardian dragon.
Devoid of props bar a single chair and a tiny matchbox, Deal with the Dragon lays bare the universally felt struggles of confidence and volition, in a light-hearted yet unsugarcoated way. Although sometimes hard to follow because of the complicated and alien setting, the passion with which the performer takes on his own story is bewitching, and the bare stage seems almost necessary in order for the bizarre magic of the fantasy to really set in. In a small, undecorated dark room on Victoria Street, Rolston brings to life a beautiful dream/nightmare, and the simple finale will leave the viewer with goosebumps and the strange feeling of really having just met a completely powerful but completely ridiculous dragon.
Deal with the Dragon is at C Nova from 16th until 29th August 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for Deal with the Dragon here: