I wish I’d taken someone with me to see Good People Bad Things – playing at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace as part of SummerWorks. I really wanted to talk about the play and about some of the questions it raised but I was alone and had to make do with interior dialogue.
Daniel Thau-Eleff wrote and performed Good People Bad Things, a monologue that isn’t nearly as dark and heavy as you might expect given that it deals with “the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and his encounter with a couple whose relationship becomes abusive.”
A lot to fit into 55 minutes.
At the beginning I was concerned that it was going to be a political rant but it was almost immediately obvious that it wasn’t anything that one-dimensional. While there were parts that were a bit rantish there were also parts that were like a stand-up routine, parts that were like a story, and parts that were a bit like a lecture.
He wove the topics together seamlessly, the transitions were smooth. The common thread was people doing things that are bad – or evil. Do good people do bad things? Can someone do bad things and still be a good person? What is evil.
It’s not that he actually asks these questions. They’re implied in his stories. He doesn’t offer conclusions. That’s up to the audience. He doesn’t judge. It’s not easy to stay neutral and be entertaining at the seam time but Thau-Eleff does it and makes it look simple.
He’s from Winnipeg and we probably aren’t going to have a chance to see his work in Toronto in the near future so take this opportunity to see him.
- Good People Bad Things is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Ave)
- Show times: Thursday August 8, 1:00 pm, Sunday August 11, 6:00 pm, Monday August 12, 8:30 pm, Wednesday August 14, 3:30 pm, Thursday August 15, 1:00 pm, Friday August 16, 6:00 pm, Saturday August 17, 8:30 pm Sunday August 18, 3:30 pm
- All individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online, by phone at 416-915-6747 and at the Lower Ossington Box Office (100A Ossington Avenue, first floor) Aug. 6-18 10AM-7PM (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee)
- Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows
Photograph: Daniel Thau-Eleff