Normally a two man play doesn’t grab my attention. Actually, I usually don’t even give them the chance to gain my affection. There’s something about a full cast of characters and the whole works which always seems more appealing than watching the same two guys run around like mad for an hour.
However, I was recently dragged along to one of these two man productions, but it was completely different than the few I’d seen in the past. It Trickles Down is a play by STU alum Jake Martin and high school pal David Etherington.
Together they wrote, directed and starred in the 40 minute production. I was confused when it came to an end, not because it was lacking, but because it was entertaining and lively enough that it could of held me in that auditorium for a bit longer.
Martin and Etherington play two government workers whose jobs are to put their small town’s interests first. The scales of power tip throughout the play as the town turns into chaos. Right off the top, we’ve got a theatrical tale of bureaucracy.
The theme has potential to be too heavy or boring, but the duo’s on stage energy and dark humoured jokes made this play into a weirdly funny satire. The two friends jumped around the stage, dawned some freakish costumes and looked like they were having a great time. A few times during the show, the two held back slight smiles as they tried to not crack up at their own jokes.
“I was worried that because it was just the two of us that we’d get to into our own jokes and lose the audience. Not having someone on the outside to direct us was really challenging, but it was definitely a learning experience,” said Martin “We started calling it a feel bad comedy.”
Both Martin and Etherington are from Saint John and were inspired to write a play about small town living. Martin was visiting Etherington at his new home in Halifax, when the both noticed a giant cavernous pit in the middle of the street.
“The pit had been there for a while and we were just kind of talking how this kind of stuff is always just pushed to the side in the Maritimes- stuff just doesn’t get fixed,” said Martin.
Martin admits the play pokes a lot of fun at Maritime problems, but both guys agrees that there’s a certain something they love about living here.
“We all know there are a lot of things to make fun of around here, but these places just have something, some kind of, I don’t know, I can’t even explain it,” said Martin. “We’re glad we got to do the play in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.”
It Trickles Down was a part of the Fringe Festival in both Saint John and Halifax. Just before school started, the show also had a performance at the Ted Diagle theatre.
“Our first show which was in Saint John was packed and we got a lot of positive feedback from around our community,” said Martin
“That awesome because the whole play is pretty much based off of what it’s like living there. So, it was good that people liked it and saw the humour in it.”