One man show has great wing span

By Patricia Fuentes

Ignoring the hokey poster, the seemingly overly-familiar theme, and the possibility of a boring one-man show, see Wingfield Unbound for Pink Floyd.

Wingfield Unbound, written by Dan Needles, includes 17 characters with a plethora of personalities all performed by one actor, Rod Beattie.

The main character Walt Wingfield, a former stockbroker and CEO on Bay street, has unsuccessfully transplanted himself to Hollyhock, Ontario to farm. In this third installment of the Wingfield series, Walt is already well-integrated into the community, after his marriage to one of the townsfolk. Hollyhock, in Walt’s opinion, is becoming part of the faceless sprawl of urban cottage country–it’s losing its individuality and pride. Walt, alarmed by the disregard for preservation of history, petitions the town for a museum–a plan which is thwarted by plain-old small-town superstition.

Beattie’s performance is beyond impressive, as he shifts into each character quickly through the conversation. Unbound would even be great as a radio play, but Beattie adds expression and visual elements fully appropriate for a stage performance.

It’s a play about a city-slicker living with folksy small-town people, but it has enough urban smarts to kick up a couple hours of really enjoyable comedy. Unbound’s strengths lie in the use of stereotypical characters, irony and situational humour to every advantage. The fact the audience laughs all the way through makes Wingfield Unbound worth seeing. And Pink Floyd? As every sophisticated urbanite knows, country folks really like their sheep.

Wingfield Unbound is part of Wingfield Week presented by Theatre Calgary. The play is showing Thurs., Oct. 21 and Sat., Oct. 23 at the Max Bell Theatre. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster (299-8888).

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