Theatre Tours International Ltd
Theatre Tours International Ltd
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To: Goner by Brian Parks
  • Written by Brian Parks
  • Directed by John Clancy
  • Performed by Bill Coelius, David Calvitto, Leslie Farrell, Jody Lambert, Jason Nuzzo and Jona Tuck.
  • European Première Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Fringe 2002

The team behind Fringe First-winning AMERICANA ABSURDUM returned in 2002 with the taste-free zone that was GONER - a 'West Wing'-meets 'ER'-meets 'JFK' frantic black comedy that gives sick humour a whole new meaning.

Doctor Warren Wyandotte of the touching bedside manner (he inhales helium before giving his diagnosis to terminally ill patients) runs a tight ship at Bruno Hauptman General Hospital. This doesn't prevent him developing Chemotherapy Barbie on the side as a little business venture, (See! Her hair really falls out!), or his colleague becoming a master on the glockenspiel. However, the eyes of the world suddenly turn on him and his courageous team when the President's brain is turned to chowder by an assassin's bullet. Should they operate? Can they operate, with the FBI attempting to arrest all the medical staff?

This cruel dilemma is acted out against the backdrop of a burgeoning romance between young, idealistic lab technician and cineaste Wixom Wyandotte and the heartsick new surgeon Hoyt Schermerhorn. Will their love win the day? Will the president recover, or remain "so vegetable he should be on a produce stand"? Does anyone care when the writing is as funny as this?

David Calvitto & Jody Lambert n Goner"Using a razor-blade sharp, cut-up style of jumping from one scene to the next, the team who brought the Fringe First-winning Americana Absurdum in 2000 bring another show of inspired, comic tragedy and farce that defies its audience to keep up. Laugh - and you'll want to laugh at nearly every line of Parks' brilliant dialogue - and you're in intense danger of missing the next sparkling exchange... Quick-tempo satire on the biting edge that bursts with energy where others might pick and mew. Satire to leave you gobsmacked at its power." (Thom Dibdin - Edinburgh Evening News, 07/08/02)

"Parks' dialogue is razor-sharp; there are more quotable, wickedly funny lines per minute than most comedies manage in an hour. Fans of Brass Eye and the darker side of The Simpsons will find it right up their street. At a time of fervent patriotism unmatched in living memory, there's a thrill in seeing an American company still prepared to dissect their society with such glee." (Alastair Mabbot - Metro, 07/08/02)

"This comedy is American satire at its sick, twisted best... ..watching it is like vomiting acid in the wind and finding it comes back to hit you full in the face... The play is hard, lethal and unforgiving; British theatre satire is limp by comparison... Goner is performed in a controlled frenzy of firework acting by a brilliantly sharp cast. My only complaint is that there is not enough of it." (Lyn Gardner - The Guardian, 08/08/02)

"Darker than dark and played at tremendous pace, there are so many laughs packed into each line that while you giggle at one you miss the next... ..There is an acidic satiric vision in Park's script, which is both witty and astonishingly literate... .the dexterity and timing of the performers reaching a high level. Most of all, this play seems to address the recognised class system of the USA through its upper strata, dispensing rough but well deserved justice to a decadent culture. Highly recommended." (Steve Cramer - The List, 08/08/02)

"Hilarious... There's a madcap anarchist vaudeville feel here, in a wise-ass heart attack of one-liners straight out of M*A*S*H. As satire, it's wry, dry and very high. But who shot the president? Oh, what the hell, who cares?" (Neil Cooper - The Herald, 08/08/02)

"Goner, by Brian Parks is also a trauma comedy- quite literally... Talking about Parks's assault on the body politic of America... Heightened by the manic pace at which the superb cast tear through this piece." (Tim Abrahams - The Sunday Herald, 11/08/02)

"A full-on, ultra-rude, no-sacred-cows satire on the condition of America today... Parks' brilliant one-liners about politics and society... A richly comic script that rises to a lovely, inspired comic moment, given a memorably slick production by John Clancy and his company... Bold and classy piece of satire." (Joyce McMillan - The Scotsman, 13/08/02)

"Anyone who thinks satire has gone soft should go to see Goner, the American writer Brian Parks' outrageous comedy drama... There are no sacred cows here... The dialogue, delivered at breakneck pace, is scalpel-sharp while the acting is excellent. Quite, quite brilliant." (Fiona Sturges - The Independent, 22/08/02)

"Frenetic, quirky drama... Brian Parks writes with a quick wit and his script is bursting with so may gags there is something for everyone... a splattering of bad taste, sick jokes, lashings of political incorrectness... this show makes for a manic hour that manages to both repulse and engage at the turn of a scalpel." (Sarah Wilcocks - The Stage, 22/08/02)