4 1/2 (IG)NOBLE TRUTHS by Thomas McKechnie. Scotiabank Studio Theatre. Aug 7 at 7:45 pm, Aug 10 at 7 pm, Aug 14 at 3 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN
You won’t look at a carton of eggs in the same way after watching Thomas McKechnie’s harrowing experimental piece about living with depression.
Near the top of the show, the tall and intellectual-looking McKechnie reveals that he was diagnosed with clinical depression at 18. The stage contains various pedestals that hold objects, so you expect the writer/performer to travel to each station, hold up an item and explain its significance in his journey living with mental illness.
Not so. He and director Michael Reinhart have found a unique way to present the story, using those precarious eggs to illustrate the anxiety McKechnie feels during a party and then going further… and further.
The effect is too startling to spoil in a review. But the two have found a way to make us feel the mounting pressures and high stakes involved.
The script itself could use finessing material from Hamlet doesn’t feel totally integrated into the work, and McKechnie isn’t always the most comfortable performer. But the startling climax and the sense of intimacy in the final moments communicate more about the challenges of mental illness than any well written monologue.