Colin McKenzie works at the garage, and leads a perfectly ordinary life with his wife Maureen and son Marcus. He loves his game shows and likes watching squirrels in the garden. But here’s the thing – he only has 45 minutes to live.
The audience is invited into the mind of our protagonist and, to be sure, he has a particularly overactive imagination. On the surface, his life is ordinary; underneath, everything is falling apart and nothing is as it should be. Maureen has fallen out of love with Colin and into bed with Sebastian. Marcus is a grown boy, and his father’s ‘absence’ and mother’s blatant adultery affects him on a regular basis. Yet in Colin’s mind, life is a game show and he – the participant – is very good at it.
Will he figure out what is going on? In the last 45 minutes of his life, will he find out the real truth? Or really, are we hoping that he dies blissfully unaware of reality?
This play is almost perfectly executed, and a couple of points particularly deserve to be called out. Firstly, there is a ticking clock, so all of the action is perfectly timed. Every line of dialogue and each scene change has to happen with precision, and one must not underestimate the rehearsal time that must have gone into the production.
Secondly, the visualisation of Colin’s mind is beautiful, hilarious, and thoroughly entertaining. From the genius quiz master to the flitting ballerina, the production keeps the story engaging. And finally, Louis Dunbavin does a stellar job as Colin – head-in-the-clouds, confused but happy and very endearing.
This production is what the Fringe is about: well-put-together, entertaining theatre, on a subject that is out of the ordinary. Colin is by no means insignificant!