That’s the best way to describe Canned Peaches in Syrup, now playing at the Furious Theatre. Since Ken works at the Pasadena Playhouse, we were treated to an evening of star-crossed love, questions of faith, and bad skin. Lots and lots of bad skin. Plus vomit.
The performances were excellent, and there were some genuinely funny moments, like Pa’s monologue in the second act. And the play mostly worked as SF, though I kept thinking “What about kuru?” (And thanks to Daryl Gregory’s “Damascus” for forever polluting any ideas I have about cannibalism.) Same with the vomit. What’s the nutritional value of vomit?
The fact that I had these questions lead me to the one thing that didn’t set well with me: how much of the play’s fucked-up-edness was there for shock value? How much was vital to the characters and plot? If you’re writing a play about the end of the world, you’re going to have some desperate situations, sure. And, yes, you’re writing a play, which is going to have different rules than a story, blah, blah, blah. But included fucked up stuff for its own sake isn’t good storytelling. Just a thought. Fucking whales.