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Kaliban
Presented by Reliquarium Productions

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Reviewed: 2008-07-20 15:32:34
By: Leila Marston (primordialmuse@gmail.com)

Andrew Hamilton has created an insightful, poetic script and performs it exceptionally well, writing a variety of attitudes and characters into this innovative production.  The official "comedy" classification of Kaliban is questionable; the humour is quite dark, and the show far more of a thoughtful drama than a fast-paced laugh-fest.

Kaliban takes the story of Shakespeare's Caliban forward from The Tempest into modern times, following the creature's careers from soldier to dictator, with lusty doses of humour and social commentary injected at appropriate moments.  The author/performer has some ingenious ideas for the character, and perfectly captures the same mixture of revulsion towards the beast, disdain for the uncultured, and sympathy for the devil that Shakespeare's play evoked.  Hamilton's writing style is beautifully lyrical and worthy of Shakespeare; the script is a delight to the ears as well as the mind.

My one critique of the performer would be the mixture, and sometimes confusion, of accents in the production.  While it's an amazing feat that Hamilton has incorporated five different foreign accents into the show, and performs them all with skill, they overlap and/or drop very subtly at several points.  It's an understandable and mild error, however, and in no way detracts from Hamilton's skill in switching between and convincingly portraying numerous characters.

This is a pithy and daring offering to this year's Fringe, and worth seeing if you're in the mood for tackling a challenging and thought-provoking tale.

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