Adelaide Fringe: The Book Of Loco

Written and performed by Alirio Zavarce this autobiographical one-hander looks at how the central character has dealt with the madness and pain in his adult life.

The Book Of Loco. Image supplied.
The Book Of Loco. Image supplied.

Inspired by the sad cancer death of his mother, re-location from Venezuela to Australia, the ending of his marriage (due to his wife’s infidelity), and world politics, this account is more broadly about finding ways to deal with the worst times in life.

Beginning with a repetitious voice-over broadcasting “in case of emergency” messages and a few odd takes at telling the same tale, the work strays wildly all over the place, but always drifts back to the central themes.

The strongest parts are the emotionally charged moments still so real for the actor that the audience feels included in his experience. As a performer, Zavarce has the ability to take us there, delivering several excellent monologues as he does.

Unfortunately the script wanders too far and wide and the many semi-related conversations fracture possibilities for the story. While some bits and pieces are fun and the audience interaction carried out well, less would be better.

Ably directed by Sasha Zahra the design elements of this production are outstanding.

Powerful and beautiful video design by Chris More projected on to a wall of cardboard boxes adds oodles; sound by Duncan Campbell and lighting by David Gadsen are slick and suited.

Set designer Jonothon Oxlade hems us in with walls of cardboard boxes used innovatively through-out the ninety minutes. Are we meant to feel the claustrophobic nature of “going loco” or is it to make us sense that life can tumble-down on us at any moment?

While not fully realized as a written piece, Alirio’s performance engages us – making The Book of Loco an interesting experimental contribution.

Stephen House

Stephen is a writer with numerous plays, exhibitions and short films produced. He has been commissioned often and directs and performs his work. He has won two AWGIE Awards from The Australian Writers Guild and an Adelaide Fringe Award (as well as more), and has received several international literature residencies. Stephen has been Artistic Director of many events. He has been performing his acclaimed solo show, “Appalling Behaviour” nationally from 2010 – 2014 (100 shows to date). Stephen has 2 new works in development.

Stephen House

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