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Fringe Review: Magic Unicorn Island

By David Currie on June 24, 2016




60 minutes | Comedy, Drama, Solo | PG

Magic Unicorn Island sold out again and anyone who sees it can understand why. The horrors of war are so viscerally presented, so nuanced is the exploration of the theme and it is so artfully developed that the ending of this comedy had me in tears.

That’s because Magic Unicorn Island is a comedy with a very serious core. The sometimes dark and often absurd jokes drape beautifully over the message of human purpose. This is a play of our time. What is safety? What is security? What is our future?

The play opens with a creation story, followed immediately with a single caveperson’s journey through the discovery of violence. A fourteen-year-old child explains the history of war and then “bam!” we are presented with a “unified” world forever in conflict.

Magic Unicorn Island is a one man show with many, many characters. Writer/actor Jayson McDonald is so skilled that all he requires to immerse the audience in a new person is a gesture.

In broad stokes the play takes place in a not-so-distance and all-too-terrifying future where American Imperialism has resurged and in response all the children have fled to a tropical paradise. This creates a major problem for the American President: “We need labour. We need soldiers.”

The children’s rule is common sense and friendship-based. Their society is full of hope and whimsy but how long can it survive with the violence of adults always at the gates?

The play delves into ideas of otherness, racism, despotism, hope, pain, and of course violence. It also delivering amazing and well-crafted jokes sure to make a room full of people laugh simultaneously.

Magic Unicorn Island is the best play I have seen in years. Full stop.

Magic Unicorn Island, BYOV A – The Courtroom, 2 Daly Ave., Elevator A, Friday, June 24, 7 p.m. & Saturday, June 25, 8 p.m.

Tickets are $12.