Reviewed by Amanda Dookie
by Bill Pats
60 min / Drama, Spoken Word / Mature
Set in the near future, in a society where capital punishment has just been reinstated, the show begins by introducing the audience to Daryl Kane – who is the first convict to be sentenced to death in Canada since 1962. He has just 24 hours left to live.
The story brings to light issues surrounding social problems amongst disadvantaged youth and the pitfalls of the correctional system in Canada. The set is very simple, and as a solo performance the actor playing Daryl Kane (Bill Pats) also plays several other characters. The only thing that I didn’t like about the multiple character roles was that some of the characters had different accents… It’s not that Pats didn’t do the accents well, I just found the choice served to perpetuate stereotypes about different ethnicities. While I can see why different accents help to differentiate the characters, it’s done at the risk of offending some viewers, which I think could have just been avoided all together. In fact, the story itself and the characters were pretty stereotypical, making the premise a bit predictable.
In terms of the acting this was the best solo performance I’ve ever seen at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, in the several years that I have been reviewing plays. The acting was intense and emotional, and not only did the actor communicate a wide variety of feelings well, he also managed to transmit those feelings to me as an audience member to the point where I felt those emotions within me. It’s no wonder Executing Justice won a new play award at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
Executing Justice by Bill Pats is playing at La Nouvelle Scène (333 King Edward Ave) until Sunday June 18, 2017. Tickets cost $12 online and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the show schedule and box office info. Apt613 is trying to see every show on opening weekend of the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.