Orgy ho-hum

ORGY IN THE LIGHTHOUSE, written and directed by Gord Rand, with Bill Webster, Jeff Gruich, Ryan McVittie, Marie Josee Lefebvre.


ORGY IN THE LIGHTHOUSE, written and directed by Gord Rand, with Bill Webster, Jeff Gruich, Ryan McVittie, Marie Josee Lefebvre and Viv Moore. Presented by Scorched Earth Society at the Canadia dell’Arte Studio (186 Munro). Runs to November 4, Thursday-Sunday at 8 pm, plus late-night Friday-Saturday 10:30 pm. $10. 969-3420. Rating: NN

A show in the bloody, depraved tradition of Grand Guignol sounds like perfect gross-out Halloween fare. Gord Rand’s Orgy In The Lighthouse offers up an onstage bowel movement, an offstage amputation and various suggested sex acts. What’s shocking is how dull and lifeless the show remains.

In a lonely lighthouse off the coast of France, war vet Marcel (Ryan McVittie) brings two physically challenged prostitutes (Marie Josee Lefebvre and Viv Moore) to visit his puritanical brother Leonard (Jeff Gruich), whom he hasn’t seen in 18 years.

Before you can say Sodom and Gomorrah, the couples are paired off, and you expect a funny-scary explosion of sex, religion and violence. Rand takes an hour to get there, though, since he’s sidetracked by having his characters cross their eyes, deliver their back stories and fondle knives.

The writing lacks freshness. It’s crude, but not funny crude. Rand’s direction is so shoddy that even an eager opening-night audience couldn’t enjoy themselves until the all-stops-out final 10 minutes. Gruich and McVittie offer two different kinds of stiff acting, and only Lefebvre emerges with her reputation intact, delivering the big gestures required for the genre. The only other bright light is Chad McMillan’s set, which suggests the potential for a scary funny experience not found in the script.

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