Theatre Preview: Suicide now funny

A sausage can be many things. Usually we think of this processed-beyond-the-point-of-recognition meat as food, but in extreme circumstances it can be used to escape rabid German Sheppards chasing you, or an impromptu fake microphone for some romantic crooning–you just need a little imagination. Apparently a sausage can also be a gun, or at least mistaken for one as in The Suicide by Vancouver company Boca del Lupo which will be sticking its head into the oven of One Yellow Rabbit’s High performance Rodeo when they come to town.

“It’s a play essentially about an unemployed man, the little guy who doesn’t have a voice,” says company director Sherry Yoon. “He’s basically a nobody until he has the idea of shooting himself, the word spreads but it’s just a rumour–no one knows exactly if he’s certain or not.”

Incorporating their signature innovative storytelling methods with the emphasis on the physical performance aspect of theatre, Boca del Lupo’s The Suicide should have all the intrigue and zany antics of a classic painkiller overdose. Filled to the brim with over the top farce and biting political satire, the play certainly possesses more than enough to keep audiences from reaching for their razorblades. Just in case this isn’t enough, The Suicide also contains the completely unique aspect of a language barrier between the actors on stage. Boca del Lupo (which translates to “mouth of the wolf,” the Italian equivalent of break a leg) pair up with a Mexican theatre company, San Banquito Teatro even though neither company speaks the other’s language.

“We’ve actually incorporated [the language barrier] into the piece,” remarks Yoon. “We have several scenes where people are speaking in different languages but who are also misunderstanding each other on stage. I don’t speak Spanish so there was a lot of funny mistakes, it seems every mistake you make is a swear word.”

Originally written as a Soviet satire by Nikolai Erdman in 1930 about the series of ridiculous events which transpire after a man’s sausage is mistaken for his potential suicide instrument, the two troupes have made some changes

“I’d say that still over half of it is intact,” says Yoon. “There were some scenes that were actually text but are now just images. We’ve changed a substantial portion to make sure it stays fun and interesting so people will come see it.”

Offering all of these diverse elements to the traditional theatre experience Boca del Lupo and their Mexican counterparts, shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping The Suicide “fun and interesting.”

After all it is about the light-hearted family-friendly subject of a man taking his own life.

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