The Man Who Built His House to Heaven

One-man shows are no easy thing to pull off, especially when the subject matter is like something out of Wes Anderson’s daydreams, but Keenan Hurley does just that in The Man Who Built His House to Heaven. Using nothing but a ladder, a handheld microphone and a tool box, Hurley pulls the audience into the story of Bob, a man who begins to build more floors onto his house in order to provide more space for his growing family, eventually building his house up to heaven and beyond.

Hurley’s performance is utterly captivating, a perfect balance of relaxed and engaging

Hurley’s performance is utterly captivating, a perfect balance of relaxed and engaging. He is a natural on the stage. He plays various roles throughout and each one is equally clear and believable. Some (like the neighbour with ‘the voice’) are utterly hilarious but none appear farcical which, again, showcases Hurley’s talent and control as an actor.

Patrick Swailes Caldwell’s direction does nothing but aid this talent and the way he uses basic staging and sound to such great effect is superb. The piece is genius in its simplicity. Despite the occasional moment towards the end where the focus seemed blurred, Caldwell does exceedingly well to not only tell the story, but also engage the audience completely and allow them to dive into the deeper meaning of the piece. Overall, it’s an incredibly well-crafted show. Both men make excellent use of the space and resources they have and are able to create some truly remarkable moments of theatre out of basically nothing. By not being over-ambitious, their piece seems daring and refreshing. It is a really wonderful thing to watch.

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The Blurb

A man builds additions onto his home until it becomes a tower that hosts humanity. He's got 100 kids, rubs elbows with God, and won't look down. Praise be to Bob. Written and performed by Keenan Hurley. Directed by Emily Mendelsohn and Patrick Swailes Caldwell.