In “Horseface”, Alex Dallas unapologetically knows exactly who she is, what she has to say, and how she is going to say it. As she disclosed to me afterwards, once she had started, she “could not NOT write this…”
It certainly wouldn’t be considered a balanced world view – but how could it be? We are well beyond that. The balance has been, for far too long, out of check in favour of the wolves, and as Dallas shares in her stories that will be far too familiar to far too many people, it certainly still is. That is why we are here, and why this show is both so powerful and so necessary.
The performance of the material, however, is incredibly well balanced. The gravity is offset with levity. Pain is offset with dancing and laughter. The darkness is offset with Dallas’ light. When all is said and done, the piece is comfortable enough to initiate a conversation, but uncomfortable enough to sustain an honest and meaningful discussion that continues long after the lights fade – as it needs to.
As timely and topical as Horseface is in its content, it would be a mistake for anyone to suggest that its success is a function of its connection to the ‘popularity’ of the #MeToo movement. It is with confident patience and great skill that Dallas reads, understands, and engages an audience that can vary so wildly from one to the next. She is a masterful storyteller and her timing is impeccable, whether she is delivering a punchline or a punch to the gut. Dallas is strong, yet she is sincere and she is vulnerable. She is real.
“Horseface” will undoubtedly affect everyone who sees it quite differently, based on their personal experience and perspective coming in – but there is also no doubt that everyone will be affected as they walk out. That is the hallmark of great theatre.
“Horseface” finishes its run in Venue #2 of the Storefront Fringe Festival this evening at 7:30…