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Banana Boots

Banana Boots
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: David Fennario
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 61
Pub. Date: 1998
ISBN-10: 0889223963
ISBN-13: 9780889223967

About the Play:

Banana Boots is a one-man-show / memoir in which David Fennario recounts, with astonishing insight and wit, the phenomenon of taking his famous bilingual play Balconville to Belfast on a British / Canadian cultural mission. Given the subject of Balconville, that the real problem in Quebec is not one of language or culture, but one of British imperialism and the class structure it imposes on its colonials, the ironies of such an event are, of course, both delicious and irresistible.

Banana Boots takes audiences to strife-torn Belfast as his international hit, Balconville, winds up its 1981 U.K. tour. Though first mystified by the dismissive and disinterested response to his play, David Fennario gradually realizes that it is his handlers and agents, presenting him as an icon of the British Empire, who are causing the problem. Once out among the working class and the bristling tension-filled atmosphere of their pub-based communities, David Fennario experiences a mutual epiphany of solidarity with the troubles in Ireland and the troubles in Quebec, brought to a head by his soul mate "Banana Boots," the stand-up Irish comedian who regales his audience with scathing caricatures of both Ian Paisley and the leaders of Sien Fein. Himself an Anglophone descendant of Irish immigrants who came to the poor working-class district in Montréal to escape the potato famine in 1847, David Fennario has an Irishman's passion for storytelling compelled by a sharp sense of social justice.

Banana Boots premiered in 1994 at the Annex Theatre by Mixed Company in Toronto. Since then it has been performed in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Victoria.

Cast: 1 man

What people say:

"I compare Banana Boots to Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia, in that they are both monologues about the personal experience of producing art against a backdrop of political and social unrest." — SEE Magazine

"When a final analysis is made of twentieth-century Canadian theater, the most significant political playwright will undoubtedly be David Fennario." — Canadian Book Review

About the Playwright:

David Fennario is an anglophone playwright and a novelist born David Wiper in Montréal, Quebec. He was raised in the working class district of Verdun-Pointe St. Charles, an area he would make the centre of most of his plays. His pen name, given to him by a girlfriend, was part of a Bob Dylan song, Pretty Peggy-O. He worked in a number of small jobs before he enrolled in Dawson College. With his teachers encouragement, he developed and fine tuned his creative writing skills. He was the first writer-in-residence at Montreal's Centaur Theatre, has won the Chalmers award twice, and received the Prix Pauline Julien from the United Steelworkers' Union.

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