King’s Head Pub (Venue 14), to July 23
Life is pretty good for 48-year-old Scottish poet Jem Rolls, who wintered this fringe off-season in Edmonton with his Manitoba girlfriend and got engaged in November. That Canuck influence is immediately obvious when he opens his new poetry recitation with a piece called Stephen Harper Saves the World in which Rolls observes that this "crazy-assed world doesn’t deserve to be rescued by anybody classy."
This year’s theme for his collection of poems was sparked by the observation that he is more fun as a performer when he's angry. So he decided to get himself good and irate in preparation to write. Trouble was, he says, the world is not getting him down like it used to. "I’m marooned in the not-pissed-off Prairies," he laments in what amounts to a standup routine in the middle of his poems.
The fringe favourite can always be counted on for some exquisite verse that leaves listeners appreciating his words and images. One piece is called Islington Diamonds, which refers to the broken pieces of car window glass that sparkle along the street curbs in the North London neighbourhood where he used to live. Rolls sparkles, too.
-- Kevin Prokosh
From the official Fringe Festival program:
High-energy performance from acclaimed English poet. With dumb gags, smart gags, hard politics and beautiful poetry.
"Dynamic, hilarious, riveting" - 5 STARS Free Press
"Highest calibre. Genius" - 5 STARS Montreal Gazette
After Jem's 2010 tour, people said, "Jem you're much more fun when things go badly."
And he thought, "Hel-lo, Jem Rolls IS PISSED OFF."
Recommended For: Mature Audience
Length: 60 MIN
Under 18 not admitted.
Warnings: Language, Licensed Venue – Patrons under 18 NOT ADMITTED