Last night, Xua Xua Productions brought Armed to the Pacific Theatre stage. I would describe the 50 minute (no intermission) play as a light-hearted, yet absurdist comedy. Things aren’t looking up for Joe, our protagonist, as he goes from being happy in his job with a great co-worker girlfriend, down a spiral that doesn’t end until he’s convinced that only a cannon arm will save his last shreds of dignity.
Some of the play’s defining moments are mixed with humour and well, absurdness, but this makes the play enjoyable to watch and before you know it, the time’s up and Joe’s gotten a My Little Pony tattoo, a cannon arm, and a new outlook on life.
Yes, he learns a lesson the hard way, but the play explores the theme, “What makes a man anyway?” And how will Joe keep his manhood despite the loss of, ahem, a couple of manly body parts?
According to co-writer/producer Andrea Loewen, “it’s not the story of a couple of women stealing some poor guy’s manhood. In many ways our culture has already done that. We’ve taken away the foundation of the classic male identity without offering anything to replace it with. This story is about what happens next.”
Originally commissioned as part of 2011′s Neanderthal Festival Walking Fish Showcase, Armed is back for a very limited run; its three cast members (Darren Boquist, Munish Sharma, and Ky Scott) play several parts in a series of fast-paced vignettes. Go check out Armed through July 21 at Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre.
Photos by Ashley Wallace.