The Revelstoke Theatre Company is taking a turn away from comedy when it presents its next play, Fuel, a story of one man’s battle with addiction.
“The story is about taking control of yourselves. It’s pretty wild, it’s pretty delusional,” said Denny Kaulback, who stars as Jonathon King, a man battling with alcoholism.
The play is a battle between Kaulback and Sarah Harper, who plays the Narrator – a personification of the disease that is plaguing Kaulback. The Narrator sees King as a character in her own play; as a person to manipulate and control. Meanwhile, he is trying to regain control over his own life.
“Like I said, I specialize in tragedies – and they usually aren’t pretty,” says Harper. She wants Kaulback to keep drinking, while he is struggling to quit. He’s missed work four times in the past two weeks, going so far as to say his mother as cancer as an excuse.
“Come on, get up. Have a drink. It will make you feel better,” she chides him while he lays on the couch hungover, with empty beer cans, old liquor bottles and pizza boxes strewn about his sad, ramshackle apartment.
“For Christ’s sake, shut up!” he replies. “All you do is talk and talk. All you do is occupy my head. There’s no more left in me.”
The play was written by Jerod Blake, based on his own battle with addiction. He chose to deal with his problems by personifying his addiction as someone with feelings and emotions. It’s about the struggle addicts go through as they attempt
The play is about the struggle of people with addictions. Kaulback chose the play after seeing it performed at the Mainstage in Kamloops. “It’s a way of personalizing addiction so instead of being this mist around you that you can’t fight, it becomes solid and characterized and personalized,” he said.
Initially, Kaulback was going to direct the play, but he wound up playing the main character. He cast Harper as The Narrator – seductive, evil and nasty.
“This is a play that I’m really excited about,” he said. “To have the opportunity to actually play in it has really opened my eyes to the problems addicts go through. It’s life destroying. They have a sickness and they can’t get rid of it.”
Fuel will be performed April 25–27 and May 2–4 at McGregor’s in the Powder Springs at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are available at the Powder Springs or online through wwww.revelstoketheatrecompany.org.