Sci-fi takes off

Rating: NNNNNyou don't have to love bug-eyed monsters or Plan Nine From Outer Space to enjoy David Widdicombe's off-the-wall comedy.

Rating: NNNNN

you don’t have to love bug-eyed monsters or Plan Nine From Outer Space to enjoy David Widdicombe’s off-the-wall comedy Science Fiction.Despite its title and the fact that its central figure is a cult sci-fi author, the piece focuses on a pair of weird characters imbued with titanic energy. And it helps that Widdicombe’s lines ring true with bizarre humour.

Spider Savage (Hardee T. Lineham), down on his luck and at the point of supping on dog food, falls in with an adoring female fan (Kristina Nicoll) and a pair of kinky kidnappers, Quint (David Fox) and his young acolyte (Dylan Roberts).

These two are intent on bringing Spider to their mysterious employers, who believe the writer to be the next messiah.

The action and dialogue race along in the first act, pushed by Lineham’s zest for the character of the drunken, paranoid Spider.

Equal parts fear, disbelief and the DTs, his lines seemingly erupting from a murky stream of consciousness, Spider emerges as the play’s optimist.

Fox’s Quint, a former mercenary soldier with a Moses complex, is, by contrast, a psychotic realist. His pessimistic view of the future is as comically fixated as Spider’s.

The other two actors play nicely with the material under Ted Dykstra’s direction, but Fox and Lineham really define the show. Too bad the writing and the arguments wilt toward the end of the second act. Even the sense of wonder in the last few seconds can’t distract us from the long-windedness of the last scene. But there’s lots to delight in before that.SCIENCE FICTION by David Widdicombe, directed by Ted Dykstra, with David Fox, Hardee T. Lineham, Kristina Nicoll and Dylan Roberts. Presented by River Productions at the Factory Studio Theatre (125 Bathurst). Runs to December 17, Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2:30 pm. $18-$23, Sunday pwyc, stu/srs discount. 504-9971. Rating: NNN

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