Review: Morro and Jasp GONE WILD (U.N.I.T Productions)

By Michelle Barker

While walking into the backspace of Theatre Passe Muraille tonight, I realized that Morro and Jasp GONE WILD is the third Clown piece that I have reviewed for Mooney on Theatre. It is also the next in a series created by co-creaters of Morro and Jasp, Amy Lee and Heather Marie Annis.

I was definitely interested in seeing this particular production after having read rave reviews of the clown duo’s past works. Allana, my dear friend and show partner, was also very excited to see the show after it was recommended by one of our friends from theatre school.

We’d both experienced Clown while in school. Allana had studied it, while I’d been in the audience for my fair share of it. But this was not the Clown to which we’d grown accustomed.

In the newest Morro and Jasp adventure, the clown sisters are making their way to Wasaga Beach for spring break to meet up with Morro’s friends. Their trip takes an unexpected turn when their car crashes into a forest. Ill-equipped for any sort of camping expedition, the sisters try to band together in order to survive the outdoors and what they fear is an approaching bear-wolf.

Allana and I agreed that the show started off slow. Neither of us were really invested in the plot until Morro and Jasp crashed in the forest, at which point the pace quickened, the humour got more physical… and the audience participation began.

I hate audience participation. I hate it. In fact, I think I’ve written this in a past Clown review. Allana hates audience participation just as much as I do. Up until this particular show, I have successfully avoided being forced onto the stage. But, alas… our time came. In an effort not to give anything away, I’ll just say that it involved two large cucumbers, condoms, and (potentially) illegal sex acts.

Allana thought that the solo sequences, performed by Lee and Annis, were beautifully and hilariously executed, providing for a really satisfying conclusion to the play. We both felt that Jasp (played by Lee) brought the most laughs with her direct address speeches.

As we walked out of the theatre, Allana noted that she felt shocked by some of the more overtly sexual aspects of the show. She mentioned that when she studied Clown, there was a lot of importance placed on the innocence of the clown characters and she was surprised to see Morro and Jasp going so far in the opposite direction. Which isn’t to say that we didn’t appreciate to graphic, sometimes vulgar humour. Because we totally did.

Audience involvement aside, I really love Clown. There’s something incredibly brave, real, and terrifying about the whole thing. You must take a trip over to Theatre Passe Muraille to see Morro and Jasp GONE WILD before it closes. It is unlike any Clown show you’ll ever see. But… maybe leave the kids at home.

Oh, and when they say that the first two rows are a “splash zone”, they really mean the first three.

Details
Morro and Jasp GONE WILD is playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Ave) until March 26th
– Performances are Tuesday – Saturday 7:30PM, Saturday matinee at 2:00 PM
– Ticket are $20.00; matinees are Pay What You Can
– Tickets are available at here

Photo of Heather Marie Annis and Amy Lee