SACKVILLE, N.B. – His name is Rex! He added the exclamation mark. The very large baby from a privileged family in Paradise Court craves attention, causes chaos, and has great ambitions. Is he a man-baby or a baby-man? asks the neighbour-chorus.
Tintamarre, Mount Allison University’s unique bilingual theatre troupe, will present their new comedy in the Motyer-Fancy Theatre, in the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts, Wednesday to Saturday, Jan. 31, to Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. each night.
Spectators will see Rex! head off to school in the exotic vehicle his parents acquired on one of their foreign trips, and on the way, meet two Internet trolls who promise to be his friends. Of course, he declares “I don’t want friends, I want fans” and, of course, they oblige.
School is a turbulent experience, then come the hollow years, followed by huge success when Rex! launches a chain of world-class hotels. But the road to fame is a solitary one. Rex! is paranoid, tweets at night, and falls asleep in the daytime. Although he is devoid of empathy, people who will not abandon him awaken feelings of guilt, and the finale is pure Tintamarre: a comedic celebration of hope.
Director Alex Fancy, who is marking the 50th anniversary of his first production, says that theatre is “the only place where we can ask the most important questions, laughing all the while.”
Associate director Madison Fairweather, a fourth-year biochemistry student, describes the route to Tintamarre productions: “Alex proposes a theme, we all imagine a story and characters, he writes the bilingual script, and then we all create the magic of theatre.”
Madison and Evan Matthews, a third-year psychology student who toured to schools with Tintamarre this past spring, play the parents as well as the Internet trolls.
Evan says “Rex! is “a cautionary tale that invites us to question bullying behaviors that appear in surprising places.”
The colourful set and costumes have been designed by Decima Mitchell, and the lighting has been created by Paul A. Del Motte, assisted by Sally Faulkner. Musical direction is by Nancy Vogan, and music has been composed by Anna Hardie, a first-year Arts student.
Reservations can be made by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 506-364-2234, and at the door. Thursday, February 1 will be a Pay-what-you-can, no reservations.
“Rex!” will tour to Maritime schools in April-May, thanks to the J. E. A. Crake Foundation, Mount Allison alumni, and friends of Tintamarre.