Normal (fourth review)

HUMANZOO-NORMAL-KEY-promo-imagePlaywright: Anthony Neilson
Cast: Justin Goodhand, Edward Charette, Shanda Bezic
Director: Jakob Ehman

Review by: Justin Emmett

This play centers on the terrible notion that anyone could be a psychopath given the right conditions, or maybe that’s something we tell ourselves to feel safe.

If you ask enough people at Fringe for something about vampires, you might find yourself at the Citadel Studio, where Anthony Neilson’s story of Peter Kurten will unsettle your comforts.

The play is about the historic tale of The Vampire of Dusseldorfand the murderous rampage of swans, children, women, and self identity. Justin Goodhand’s performance is convincing, stressing the mind of a madman and shining it into the audience. Asking the question: are we not normal?

As Goodhand plays through the sick fantasies and horrific truths of Kurten’s monstrous nature, the audience is left to watch his attorney Edward Charet unravel from what he knows to be correct. You have to wonder how someone can perform a character so intensely without becoming them:

Justin IS Peter, Edward is JUSTUS. The inexperienced, uncorrupted mind of an innocent man is just a matter of perspective. A clever addition to the fringe, and certainly a personal favourite for its articulate delivery of such an edgy, strange play. The language was enough to keep the audience more than interested.

“Peter, what did you do?”

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