Edmonton 2012 Village of the Fringe Review: Rerentless

Last night I went to see Relentless at the Edmonton Fringe Festival.

Relentless tells the magical story of Twinsen, a young Quetch from the planet Twinsun, who experiences a variety of magical adventures after escaping the clutches of the evil Dr. Funfrock (who has imprisoned the entire planet on the southern hemisphere). First he returns home, where while reuniting with his girlfriend Zoe he is attacked by Dr. Funfrock's evil clones, who arrest Zoe and[wait, wait, hold on.

Whoops, sorry folks. This is the wrong review. This was Feynman and Coulter's Love Child's old review of Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure which came out for the PC in 1994. Let me find the right one here, just give me a moment. -ed]

Rerentless tells the story of two stoner dudes [there, that's better. -ed] whose names probably were given but don't matter, who are having some money troubles. Their July rent was collected from coins at the last minute, they don't seem to have employment, and August is the month they have to "get their shit together".

So naturally they don't. When one's grandfather dies and the money well runs dry, the boys are forced to find alternative means of collecting money: made more difficult when the power runs dry. After a 3-week long video gaming marathon fails to pay the bills, the guys go from drug running to faking a porn video in the process of earning money fast. Without, you know, working.

This play is brought to you by the duo of Wes Borg and Morgan Cranny. Wes Borg is famous for being the member of Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie who hasn't died. Cranny is actually a tree scientist turned actor. Let's hope there aren't any out of control fires while he's busy fringing the various festivals this play is in!

Anyways the main characters are left to be relatively charming, play off of each other, and endure crazy fantastical situations with minimal emotional investment. The "stoner dude" is always the quick refuge for when your dramatic acting chops aren't the best, and its no surprise that its used here. It also, for the most part, works. There are a couple of rather superfluous scenes where the one character's dead grandfather comes back as a ghost to haunt him and demand hookers. The "wizened old man who turns out to be a huge perv" character has almost become stock at this point, and its used to provide a bit of a dramatic push forward for the characters who otherwise are wholly reactionary to the situation surrounding them.

While not really having a lot of jokes, the play was funny enough and entertaining enough. Your womanfolk, in particular, will probably love this: the viewing I attended was probably 60% women, and they laughed at absolutely everything either of the characters did. Basically it was a real life laugh track: at every moment the producers wanted people to laugh, whether the moment was actually funny or not, rapacious laughter commenced as if on cue. Anybody who can pull together a grainy video of the production company giving seedy payoffs to women to come in and laugh on some hidden cue, please email it to me.

On a whole though, if you want an entertaining romp that doesn't really force you to think much about the implausibility of the initial situation (unemployed in Alberta?) or consider the horrible implications that await these boys when the drug dealer uses Facebook to track them down in Kelowna and extract a painful revenge for losing $1000 worth of pot, then Rerentless is for you.

But if you want an emotional journey from a character who has to grow and change and become a man due to external forces acting upon him, I still have my CD-ROM copy or Relentless sitting in my basement you're welcome to borrow.

(by the way, if you were interested in buying the Doctors Eleven t-shirt Wes Borg's character wears in the play I have bad news: you'll have to vote to try to get it reinstated.)

Final word: If you liked Harold and Kumar at White Castle, you'll love Rerentless. Probably. I should get around to watching that movie before I make a claim like that, right?