Theatre Preview: A Fabulous Disaster

By Sherri Shergill

She’s not cocky, she’s confident, or at least that’s how Denise Clarke describes herself. Clarke, an associate artist with One Yellow Rabbit, is positive her one-woman show, A Fabulous Disaster, will be a favourite among the masses of Calgary because of her theatrical talent.

The words talent and passion are two adjectives barely applicable to many of today’s high profile performers, making the scrounge around for $12 to go see a movie hardly worth it anymore. We now live with an entertainment industry which regards talent as a second-class citizen to beauty and money. Nevertheless, Clarke is committed to maintaining talent and passion in the local theatre scene no matter what the mainstream asks for.

“People like this play because they come in and I deliver my part of the bargain–keeping them engaged,” Clarke declares. “When you’ve been on stage as long as me, what you’re doing is putting together your work so that people are entertained. I have extraordinary theatrical skills.”

As she coyly answers questions, Clarke is not afraid to be proud of her devotion to theatre and boasts about being the writer, choreographer and star in her newest theatrical presentation.

“The reason you would come and see me do this is because I’m really good at what I do,” Clarke says. “It sounds so boastful of me, but it’s the only reason I’d invite anyone to see me do what I do.”

Though Clarke may be willing to talk at great length about her own skills, she remains tight-lipped about other subjects. In fact, Clarke is so sure A Fabulous Disaster is of a superior quality she doesn’t even feel the need to tell people the hook of the story to get them interested.

“Don’t tell people the plot,” Clarke urges. “I want to allow things to happen for the audience who come to watch rather than blabbering about it outside of that. You just have to come and sit there with your mind wide open.”

Although the story line is off bounds, Clarke is eager to chat about the message of the play and how it is carefully delivered through a blend of dance, drama, comedy and tenderness. A Fabulous Disaster begins with a genderless character and ends with a very kindhearted and honest human being who is searching for all encompassing love. Tucked somewhere in between, Clarke even throws in a good, old-fashioned moral.

“Every single human being has the capacity to be full of extreme beauty, kindness and love,” she explains. “They also have the capacity for extreme anger and harm. I’d like people to leave with the feeling that sometimes in the face of tremendous disastrous occurrences, everybody can be okay.”

If the message itself cannot entice you to watch Clarke’s show, A Fabulous Disaster’s hour of beautiful choreography, witty humour and, of course, undeniable confidence should be more than enough to convince even the most skeptical thespian.

Leave a comment