Volume 95, Issue 63

Thursday, January 24, 2002
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London Underground

London's most famous Office

Form Moby Dick to Harlequin romance

The world of alternative cinema

Art outside the clique

Boneyard Man: still searching for wider acceptance

Lizards, Trixie and original fashion

Boneyard Man: still searching for wider acceptance

By Matt Pearson
Gazette Staff

As London's leading underground playwright, Jayson McDonald has much to smile about.

His series, The Adventures of the Boneyard Man, has risen from a cult favourite to a well-known, long-running series, while his theatre company, three black ring, continues to present imaginative plays for London audiences.

Yet, despite his hard work, he seems a little worn out and frustrated by the lack of new faces in the audience.

"The audience has plateaued – it doesn't seem to be growing or diminishing. [We need to] get people over the idea that you have to leave town to find quality entertainment," McDonald said.

"People would benefit from submerging into the culture of their own community, away from television or the mall."

Especially students.

Although the university crowd makes up a small percentage of McDonald's regular audience, he seems eager to have more to swell the ranks.

"It's a rare breed – someone that comes and samples the local culture," he said.

Still, McDonald credits the London Fringe Festival for reaching out to new audiences throughout the region, noting there was a huge increase in the size of the audiences during the second year of the festival.

The Boneyard Man – the monthly homage to radio noir McDonald built his reputation on – is in its fourth season, with 65 episodes under its belt and new episodes debuting each month.

McDonald also has a play in the works. The Deluxe Illustrated Body, which he co-wrote with Lil Malinich, will open in February at the Black Lodge Theatre in the Galleria Mall.

Though it may be tough to attract Londoners to the theatre, McDonald remains upbeat.

"I still believe in this town – that it could be cool."

Exit, Stage Left: London has a number of theatre groups, many of which work closely with one another. The following companies – who rent theatre space at a number of venues across the city – consistently present the most interesting and challenging theatre in London: Theatre Soup, Theatre Nemesis and the Ausable Theatre.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001