CRINGEWORTHY by Alex Poch-Goldin, directed by Sarah Phillips, w/ Paul Fauteux, David Jansen and Erin MacKinnon. February 6-10 at 8:30 and 9:30 pm.
alex poch-goldin knows what's in a name. That's why, when he and actor David Jansen bandied around the idea of a Machiavellian figure and came up with the name Cringeworthy, a theatrical seed took root."The image in my head was of this Dickensian money-grubbing figure, and I started working with it," says the author of This Hotel and Jim And Shorty.
"The best stuff comes quickly, and I ended up with three scenes that make a good Rhubarb! package, though I think it'll become a longer piece."
At its centre is Cringeworthy (Jansen), a London moneylender who turns the screws on Luigi Tarantella, an Italian immigrant caught up in the opium trade.
"It's an exploration of manipulation, of being lost in a world that you're trying to get your bearings in when everything is against you," says Poch-Goldin, whose acting work includes Belle, Tempest, and the TV shows Nero Wolfe and Queer As Folk. "Maybe Cringeworthy gets his dues in the larger story, but in this excerpt I only wanted to explore this needy, greedy man whose moral centre is so questionable."
He's previously acted in but never written for Rhubarb!
"I've always been an advocate of festivals like this. I know the benefit of allowing a work to stew so there's more flavour in the broth."
RHUBARB! FESTIVAL several dozen new works by Canadian artists. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander). Opens Wednesday (February 6) and runs to February 24, Wednesday-Sunday 7:30 pm, new shows each week; Under 21 readings February 15 at 7 pm; Director Lab February 24 at 11 pm. $15 day pass, $20 week pass, $40 festival pass, $8 for 10 pm shows, Under 21 and Director Lab pwyc. For details, see listings, page 62. 416-975-8555.