Volume 93, Issue 20

October 1, 1999


Stars built to be broken

54-40 maintain longitude

Tovey wears many selves

DDT produce infectious sound

Tovey wears many selves

By Matt Pearson
Gazette Staff

One man. Twenty-one characters. Twenty-five hundred years of theatre. A tall order at best, but this Saturday actor/writer extraordinaire Mark Tovey plans to fill it.

As a dramatic addition to this year's Homecoming festivities, Tovey will present How To Become Ridiculously Cultured In One Evening in Conron Hall at 11 a.m. Saturday morning. "The idea is to summarize the history of theatre," he says. Tovey will do this by sewing sketches from well known plays together, representing the development of theatre from the past to the present.

"It's about marrying the past with something from the present that everyone can identify with," Tovey says.

While Tovey resembles Marlon Brando circa A Streetcar Named Desire, the signature piece, "Green Eggs and Hamlet," explores the thematic unity between Shakespeare's masterpiece Hamlet and Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.

To aid the audience in following him throughout his quick and constant changes of character, Tovey relies on the use of hats, as well as different voices and accents.

The inspiration for the show came from a variety of sources, including the book, How To Become Ridiculously Well-Read In One Evening. "[The show is] a collection of the kind of things I like reading to people," Tovey says. He also commented on the accessibilty of theatre. "It's about introducing people to the essential elements of literature in a really fun way," he explains.

As Tovey shares the genre, he hopes to draw more people to the theatre. Tovey himself was first attracted to the theatre as a teenager and it has remained a passion of his ever since. He has worked extensively in improvisation and is enjoying the independence of a one man show. "It's difficult to organize many people and it's easier to catch yourself," he maintains.

This show first debuted at Western during last year's Fine Arts Festival and has since travelled to Stratford to take part in the 1999 Psammead Series.

For those looking for something other than tent pubs and football games this weekend, Mark Tovey might have just the trick – a dynamic theatre lesson, 2,500 years in the making.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999