Entertainment
Sean Bowie drowns in an oversized keg.
Courtesy Ground Zero Theatre

Theatre Prebiew: A fucking drunk

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There's an old saying declaring 'there's a time and place for everything, and that's university.' This colloquialism typically acts as a half-hearted approval for promiscuous sex, recreational drug use and copious amounts of drinking occurring within the hallowed grounds of higher learning. Taking a closer look at the drunk in all his stumbling glory is Sean Bowie, with his one-man show Drunken F***er, presented as part of Ground Zero Theatre's Groundbreakers series. Bowie, one of the creative minds behind Cocktales, has teamed with One Yellow Rabbit artistic director Michael Green to present a show he hopes is provocative, entertaining and real. This easily explains his nonchalant attitude about the title.

"People swear," chuckles Bowie. "I tried to write a story that I felt was real. The experiences that I had, or witnessed or that I created, they're not fantasy. They happened. I guess I just wanted to talk about them."

Even though Bowie no longer drinks, he vividly remembers the beginning of his relationship with sweet lady liquor.

"My upbringing was much like everybody else's," Bowie recalls. "I just sort of partied like everybody else, I went to university and we all partied. I lived in a co-ed dorm for a year and that was crazy. It just sort of got out of hand for me."

When things got out of hand for Bowie, like for so many others, it had an adverse effect on his personal relationships, most of all with himself.

"The thing for me was that the damage that I was doing to myself and to other people was killing me," Bowie shares. "The guilt that I was carrying, the bad feelings, the negativity, the self-pity and the resentment and everything, it just continued in a downward spiral."

Now older and wiser, Bowie has a new perspective on the effects of alcohol. He thinks that alcoholism has been overlooked as of late in favour of more trendy addictions.

"Alcohol is a highly destructive force in this society for some people," Bowie explains. "For most people it's not, but there are other people when it's absolutely devastating. "People have lost their lives, they've lost their families, they've lost their fortunes, they've lost their houses, they've killed people, they've died. I mean, the manifestations of alcohol in a societal sense, in some cases is devastating. Alcohol, by far, is the most abused drug on the planet and we just sort of accepted that's the way it is, and that happens on occasion."

Bowie, however, doesn't want Drunken F***er to be seen as a harsh criticism of drinkers and drinking or as a cautionary tale. He has a different message in mind.

"I just wanted to tell one person's story about just how destructive it can be," he remarks. "My message is not 'don't drink.' My message is that people can change. They're not always one way. If somebody's bad, they can change. They can redeem themselves. There's a bunch of reasons why I decided to write this play. The primary reason for me writing it was it's a love letter to the people that I know in Calgary. All the people I know in Calgary knew me after I cleaned up, but they don't really know where I came from, and they don't understand what I went through. So, I sort of wrote it for them."

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