Public Speaking (Chris Craddock) – 2010 Fringe Festival Toronto

By Darryl Pring

One person shows are the backbone of any fringe festival.  From TJ Dawe to Jem Rolls to Chris Gibbs, there has been no shortage of genius individual performances.  Chris Craddock has, in the past, reached these heights.   But in his one person show Public Speaking showing at the Helen Gardiner, he falls a little short.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent show.  Bradley Moss’ direction is tight and clean, pacing the show at a breakneck speed.  The lighting is simple and effective.  But the impression I got was he attempted to squeeze a 75 minute (at least) show into a 60 minute slot (even though it ran 65 minutes).

Chris Craddock is a strong performer, no question.  He plays multiple characters in this show, giving each a distinctive voice and physicality.  But each of these characters lacks a foundation, they come across more as caricatures rather than human beings.

He does get close with Brian, a cross between Slingblade and Lenny from Of Mice and Men, but never quite taps into the humanity of these people.  At least one of these characters, the police officer, might has well been named Detective Exposition, because that seemed to be the only reason he existed.

I want to be clear, I think this show is above average.  I just have real high expectations when it comes to artists like Chris Craddock, and am disappointed when he seems to be stuck in his ‘head castle’.

Director: Bradley Moss
Cast: Chris Craddock
Genre: Play-Comedy
Audience: Mature Audience
Warning: Content, Language

60 min.
Tue, July 6 6:30 PM – 935
Wed, July 7 4:00 PM – 940
Thu, July 8 11:15 PM – 951
Fri, July 9 Noon – 952
Sun, July 11 5:45 PM – 969