The Chaos of Dead Metaphor

Where do you see yourself in five years?

That groan-worthy, cliché interview question that begs for an equally gag inducing answer painting an ‘everything is peaches, roses and unicorns’ picture to mask the stink of desperation. Perhaps, ‘is this where you saw yourself five years ago?’ being the more appropriate question. George F. Walker’s play Dead Metaphor asks you to take a look at the world around you; how the (insert flowery language here) did we get here? How can you strategize for the future if you don’t know what brought you to the present?

“One of the ways of making the world less chaotic, I guess, is to show that it is chaotic.” – George F. Walker

Comedy is a medium to observe the absurdity of the world and offer it up to the masses at a safe distance from reality. Walker serves his view on the world at war; militarily, politically, socially like the palatability of a BBQ wiener on a warm spring evening… until you stop to think ‘what’s in this’?

“… that’s what my plays are doing, talking about what I see.  That’s why they are comedies.  They are dark because I think that’s the world, and they’re comedies because I don’t want to go insane – or anyone else to go insane.”

Walker introduces us into a young ex-sniper Dean (Mike Gill), who has recently returned home from a tour of duty and is struggling to find work in a sluggish job market where his experience as a sniper is unmarketable and non-transferable. At home Dean struggles with his pending future as the son of ageing parents Hank (Alex Willows) and Frannie (Donna Spencer) and as a father with his ex-wife Jenny (Carmela Sison) pregnant.  With the persuasion of Oliver (Jovanni Sy), a veterans job councillor, Dean lands a job as an assistant to a contemptuous politician Helen (Meghan Gardiner), Oliver’s wife, who has more use for him then just someone to get her and her extreme right-wing political strategists coffee. Dean finds himself riddled with freelance opportunities for his particular set of skills.

If there is one certainty, the critics and audiences are loving what they are seeing in the Firehall Arts Centre production of Dead Metaphor.

Meghan Gardiner, Mike Gill, and Carmela Sison in Dead Metaphor. Image by Emily Cooper.

The extreme characters of Helen and Hank drive the comedy, and both Gardiner and Willows shine.” – Jerry Wasserman, Vancouverplays.com

Meghan Gardiner, who plays Helen, knocks it out of the park. Somebody give her an award. Right now. Comedy is all about dedication to illogic, and Gardiner commits every cell of her being to Helen’s Machiavellian lunacy.” – Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

“…directed with precision by Chelsea Haberlin…”

“Very impressive set and light design by Lauchlin Johnston.” – Ed Farolan, reviewvancouver

” …when she (Donna Spencer) has her moment to erupt, she shows some powerful chops.” – Erika Thorkelson, Vancouver sun

“You will laugh.” – Jo Ledingham

Walker asks you to step into this world; strangely foreign, but uncomfortably close to home and watch the race between physical and moral decay – will anything/anyone stay standing?

Step into this world before the end of the run – Dead Metaphor runs until Sat Apr 23rd


Jovanni Sy and Mike Gill in Dead Metaphor. Image by Emily Cooper.
Jovanni Sy and Mike Gill in Dead Metaphor. Image by Emily Cooper.


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