In his quest to be an actor, Jeff finds himself playing Rumpelstiltskin in a children’s touring theatre company. He’s doing it for the money and the fame. His co-workers consist of Mandy, and enthusiastic actress who talks in a high pitched voice and Old Murphy, an older man who has done multiple tours for children’s theatre. The company head, is looking for the perfect year, a year where the show makes all of their stops along their cross country tour to schools. Which means 186 shows.
This proves to be harder than it seems as Jeff launches into stories of children who wet themselves, death defying travels, and drug dealers who come to see the show. Jeff Leard plays them all with a theatrical pizzazz. Once you get past the cadence of his speech and the layer of artistic license on the characters (their waitress at a diner sounds like a witch), the play is captivating and engaging. Leard wrote the script as a compilation of true stories from children’s theatre performers over the course of thirty years. It’s a rough year for Jeff, but a great show for the audience.
The Show Must Go On is part of the Edmonton Fringe Festival. It play 2 more times in the festival. More information is available online.