jem rolls: i, idiot – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

jem rolls from i, idiotFrom Press Release:

You know they say everyone has got a novel in them?

Well, you know what it’s called, that novel we’ve all got in us?


With verbal and physical buffoonery, Jem Rolls cartoons the personal and the universal in his own intercontinental epic of blundering idiocy.

33, 333 muck-ups. And counting.

Jem has done more Fringe Festivals than anyone on earth

He has received 40+ ***** reviews and 200+ ****.

Jem’s last show: “The Inventor Of All Things” received FIVE STAR REVIEWS from CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, the Edmonton Journal and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix

so this year a suspiciously self-deprecating individual boasts

a whole new genre of performance

yes a whole new genre


for it’s a lyrical cartoonery

when, with verbal and bodily buffoonery,

Jem Rolls explores the comic universality

in his own ungrand epic of ungrand



after a ragingly successful self-reinvention as storyteller

in his last show THE INVENTOR OF ALL THINGS,

itself a bigsized risk… [the kind of comedy which ends in Hiroshima, anyone?]

Jem could perhaps have ploughed a similar and now safer furrow

instead he continues dangling himself over the edge of risk

on a slender branch of poetically adulterated silliness

above a bottomless lake of ever possible Fringe failure

for, unfortunately, he been infected by the clown virus

has learnt more from the clowns on the Fringe Tour than from anyone else

Jonno Katz, Chris Gibbs, Red Bastard and more

and so is transmogrifying himself again, same but different

into a more physically performative poet than any poet he has ever seen

with poems, song, monologues, bad jokes, good jokes, knock-knock jokes, neologisms, lousy lipsyncing, and an unwise but contractually obligated first foray into interpretive dance

including… an unsightly piece of savage introspection: “HOLD STILL JEM, I‘M GOING IN”

a wilful rejection of truth knowledge language and history, “NOTHING IS TRUE BUT SOME THINGS ARE MORE TRUE THAN OTHERS”

plus Jem explains, with ringing plausibility, what caused the Big Bang. And every Big Bang there has ever been. And will ever be.

  • jem rolls: I, IDIOT plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. (16 Ryerson Ave.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warning: Mature language.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in the front row.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.


  • Friday July 6th, 8:15 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 6:45 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 1:00 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 4:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 10:15 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 8:15 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 1:00 pm
  • Sunday July 15th, 12:30 pm

Photo of Jem Rolls by Jem Rolls.