Gil Garratt has lots of dark boysin his acting resumé, among them the rascally urchin who sneaks into Buckingham Palace in The Boy Jones and one of the troubled, tragic sons in the Blyth Festival's Outdoor Donnellys.He finds the dark child a fascinating inversion of the archetype of the innocent who is nurtured and brought to knowledge. Onstage, Garratt takes great glee in creating the energy of an uncomfortable, pent-up youngster.
He's channelling that verve in a rather different direction as the Fool in Body Geometry, the Theatre Centre's fifth annual interdisciplinary show. The Centre's David Duclos has also drawn from the tarot pack the archetypal figures of the Mother, the Interlocutor and the Magician and asked the four artists (Garratt, Sandra Alland, Mark Christmann and Katherine Duncanson) to create a show with the quartet of types.
"The Fool keeps us giggling and crying despite dark ruminations on life and what comes after," Garratt explains. "If eternity is a garden and life is a hedge in it, death's job is to trim the hedge and the Fool's is to water it.
"He has a responsibility to tell the truth -- like Lear's Fool -- but also entertains by handing out sweets to the audience, dangling from the ceiling and tap dancing."
Garratt has other artistic suits to play. A visual artist, he designed the most recent Harold Award, and his scripts have been produced by Theatre Direct Canada and Buddies' Rhubarb Festival.
Entertainment is at the core of this year's Body Geometry -- for some of its ideas the company relied on a book called A Good Night Out, which outlines the qualities of centuries of London stage hits -- so the audience can look forward to being greeted, fed and sung to.
"The main thing about the show is accessibility. The audience has to feel they have ownership of the evening and belong in the room. That's the only way it'll be a good night out."firstname.lastname@example.org
BODY GEOMETRY created and performed by Sandra Alland, Mark Christmann, Katherine Duncanson and Gil Garratt. Theatre Centre (1087 Queen West). Opens Tuesday (December 17) and runs to December 21, Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 2 and 7 pm. $15-$20. 416-538-0988.