Kitt and Jane (as it will be referred to in this review) kicks off with a teacher thanking us, the students for coming to the assembly and International Wildlife Diversity Day. Kitt and Jane have been invited to the stage to do a presentation for the special day on salmon. Except after some awkward presenting and yelling regarding sticking to cue cards, Kitt and Jane decide that they are hijacking the assembly.
We are launched into a narrative on how Kitt (Ingrid Hansen) and Jane (Rod Peter Jr.) met, how they found out they were going to die in the next hour and that they decided that this was how they were going to spend their last hour. It involves a trip to see salmon spawning and realizing that the end is near, whether it be the last polar bear, or the last bee, it may just be assumed that we are going to destroy everything. Therefore they create a survival plan, with all possible scenarios and bring on a team of survival leaders.
Kitt and Jane is a fun, interactive production, put on by very talented actors, whether they are singing, drawing or creating shadow puppets. It is an impressive piece of theatre, running at 70 minutes, it is high energy and features dynamic performances. Unfortunately, the performance could do without the simplifying of the content, passing off the characters as dumb school kids for cheap laughs. Don’t get me wrong, the audience surrounding me enjoyed this immensely. But Hansen and Peter didn’t need the cheap laughs because their talent and writing shines. The production would have stood out without being bogged down by the ‘Fringe need’ to put in surface comedy. The idea that the end of the world will be brought on by humans and how to deal with it, is a concept taken on by this production with such grace. Hansen and Peter illustrate it through shadow puppets, a ukelele and their charm. It is brilliant. We don’t need all of the other stuff (throwing pies at each other, playing dumb young school children) to have us buy in. We are already there.
Kitt and Jane: An interactive Survival Guide to the Near Post-Apocalyptic Future is part of the Calgary Fringe Festival. There are three more chances to see it. More information is available online.