Love, loss, and stories that sneak up to grab your heart: Martin Dockery’s Delirium, A guest 12thnight Fringe review by Todd Babiak

Martin Dockery: Delirium. Photo by Tanja Tiziana.

Martin Dockery: Delirium (Stage 3, Walterdale Theatre)

As Martin Dockery welcomes us into the bare theatre, his only prop a water bottle, he doesn’t bother with any artifice. He is Martin, we are who we are, hey man, hi guys, how’s it going? His T-shirt appears to be the T-shirt he might also wear in the beer tent later on.

In Delirium, the New York veteran of the Canadian Fringe circuit tells three true stories. The informality, even bagginess of his dialogue is jarring at first. If there were a script, “You know what, guys?” would be on the page far too many times. Slowly, as he makes his way through his first story — about his girlfriend, love, and the border between the U.S. and Canada — we realize there isn’t a script so much as an emotional outpouring.

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The seeming inefficiency of the actual words he uses crashes into the careful, looping, at times spectacular, plots of his stories. All three are memorable but the last two are deeply moving tales of love and loss that carry, in their detail, a haunting authenticity. We feel we are there with him as he tries to sell strawberry sandwiches at Burning Man and copes with the loss of his best friend.

Todd Babiak

 

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