“No one comes to the theatre to hear lies,” Wil Greenway says near the beginning of this solo show, much to the amusement of his audience. The poetic exploration of the absurd story that follows is aptly linked to this intentionally ironic statement, for Greenway tells the most ridiculous and unbelievable stories which somehow contain some sort of obscure underlying truth about the beauty and fallibility of human existence.
This is a man with an incredible knack for verbally creating incredibly vivid images.
Greenway begins by telling us that his story is based on a conversation he had with a man called Vincent, which took place when they found themselves falling simultaneously, parallel, from the top of a tall building. He flits between his own story and that of his newfound partner in rapid descent; in turn each story flits between the ridiculous, the hilarious, and the gut-wrenchingly tragic. As soon as a story seems realistic and cohesive, it will be interrupted with a bout of unadulterated silliness. With the same abruptness, his poetry shocks his story out of the realm of the ridiculous and into that of the profound.
This is a man with an incredible knack for verbally creating incredibly vivid images. The vibrant story he tells of a boy being lifted into the air by a gaggle of geese as they fight over some mushed up bread is even more bizarre than it sounds. At other times, however, the images painted by Greenway are endowed with a solemn beauty. For example, the dream sequence, upon which he embarks with light-hearted self-referential humour suddenly plunges the audience into a tragic and poetically stunning landscape.
At times, Greenway’s story becomes so absurd that it can be difficult to keep up. What saves these moments is the performer’s incredible likeability: his style of narration, like his stories, is both weirdly charming and charmingly weird. He frequently addresses the audience directly, and builds a wonderful rapport with them as his story develops. Vincent Goes Splat is storytelling at its most intimate, its most silly and its most stunningly poetic.