The Nature of a Bullet (NovelSidewalk Theatre Company) 2013 Toronto Fringe Review

Bullet

Drive. Park. Piss. That’s what life boils down to according to performer/playwright Nick Dipchand in his one-man show entitled The Nature of a Bullet.

This Fringe show, currently playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, is a chronicle of one man’s attempt to deal with unexpected misfortunes that seem to all come crashing down at once.

And like a bullet’s inertia – once in motion, the terrible things life throws at us are often impossible to stop.

Impeccably written and deeply insightful, The Nature of a Bullet perfectly captures the folly that surrounds trying to maintain a work-life balance. From his poignant depiction of dealing with a father afflicted with Alzheimer’s to his scathing commentary on the ludicrousness of corporate ladder climbing, Dipchand has created a piece which is easily relatable and thoroughly engaging.

And to his credit, the majority of one-liners delivered by Dipchand were on-point. Take one such zinger about asking an oafish co-worker if he played the piano. “No, I’m not Picasso,” was the dunce’s reply. Or his Shakespeare-inspired musing on surviving a night in a drunk tank: “Sleep, perchance, to… be shanked.”

As with many one-person shows, the performer will often do vocal acrobatics in order to imitate the voices of other characters in the story. Unfortunately, sometimes when you have that many balls to juggle, a few will inevitably come crashing down.

At times, Dipchand’s impressions were so stereotypical and overacted they would completely ruin an otherwise wonderful narrative. Admittedly, since the aim was to poke fun at certain personality traits, a bit of hyperbole is to be expected. But because the subject matter tried to be both heart-warming and outrageously comedic, the sometimes cartoonish voice work was often jarring and lent itself to simply being tuned out.

Despite the criticisms of Dipchand’s over-the-top delivery, he shows limitless potential as a playwright. With a little more polish, his performance is sure to surpass his prodigious ability to write a compelling script. Keep an eye out for this fresh talent, because his star will only continue to rise.

Details:

The Nature of a Bullet is playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Ave.)

Performances

  • Thursday, July 4 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 6 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 7 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, July 8 at 5:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 10 at 8:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 11 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Friday, July 12 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 14 at 4:00 p.m.

Tickets

  • Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only. Late comers will not be permitted.
  • Advance tickets are $11 ($9 + $2 service charge) and are available online at fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062 EXT 1, or in person during the festival at the Festival Box Office at 581 Bloor St W (located in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s). Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.

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