He announces that tonight he will tell us three stories. These tales have all come to us courtesy of the positive reaction from a cat. The cat in the picture, actually. Her name is Tilly and she the cat of Green’s girlfriend. She’s a shy, scaredy feline, who, through the gentle caresses of Green’s words, slowly warmed up to him. The stories we will hear tonight are the ones she liked the most. Over the course of the evening, Green wants us to become her and hopefully come to like him, too. Honestly, I already like him enough I could purr.
Green is confident in his material and I truly believe he has lived and breathed his work. There is an emotionality behind his words that belies an refreshing honesty. His anecdotes are believable; they could happen. They could happen to me or to my companion. I certainly believe that they happened to Green. They are stories meant for maximal empathy rather than designed for ultimate laughs. This makes me much more invested than standard comedy fare would.
I really feel his words. In a world of comedy where so much is pulp fiction: fast, furious and full of action, Green is literature. His prose is astoundingly well structured. I float in them as the words flow through me, yet he spears us by harpoon during each climax. I catch my breath as Green cradles me through harrowing scenarios, a rock, a trampoline, a thump. Strangled whispers of “No,” escape me, fingers held against trembling lips… These are my favourite parts.
Green is very funny, though. He is incredibly relatable and he has some awesomely bad puns. His interjections throughout his stories are what keeps the comedic atmosphere alive. I love the way he is constantly reminding us that while bad things do happen in life, we can find humour and light there as well. Green manages to reiterate this to me constantly throughout his show. My heart may be tight with sorrow right now, but Green tosses in a side-comment and grateful, hearty laughter slips out of me.
Green is a rare performer. I often wonder during comedy shows whether I am laughing because it really is funny, or if society dictates I do so because it is a comedy show. Green is different. I would find him funny in any circumstance, no matter the designation given his work. He creates characters and scenes with such clarity that my imagination plays a movie inside my mind while he speaks. I can ‘see’ and understand the comedy of the situations he describes. Green mines a lot of laughter from me this way, and it’s just one more reason this show is so fabulous.
If Brendon Green was hoping by the end of Best Friends that I, like Tilly, would warm to him, he’s outdone himself. I not only like his show, I love his show. It’s quiet, clever, emotional and funny. My friend declared it was the best show he’s seen in a while, and I agree. As a passer-by skittled a pebble along the street while I huddled in my coat against the cold, Green’s show flooded through me again. I believe this occurrence will be the first of many to come. I smile to myself and think again of the rock, the trampoline and the thump. They will stay treasured memories with me and I silently thank Tilly for her good judgement.
Brendon Green’s Best Friends plays at BATS Theatre at 6.30pm from the 3rd – 6th of May. You can find tickets here.