Gametes and Gonads


Alexandra Centre

July 29 2011

With a title like Gametes and Gonads you don’t have to think too hard to figure out what the show’s about. You know you’re in for sperm – and – egg testes – and – ovaries talk. Playwright and performer Jeff Leard has created a show that characterizes sperm as an “army of the left testes” and the egg as a “genetic star of death.”

The anthropomorphized sperm soldiers – surrounded by a protective semen shield – are on a mission to fertilize the egg while trying to avoid such death traps as spermicides.

One egg meanwhile is selected from the Evas Esmeraldas Estelles and Esthers who inhabit Ovaria to become the monthly sacrificial lamb for the survival of the other eggs.

Gametes and Gonads is NOT “my cup of tea” a phrase popular with Festival Director Michele Gallant. While Leard offers up a committed energetic and physical performance employing a variety of comic voices and clever transitioning from character to character I don’t think the show frankly is worth his efforts.

I felt the premise couldn’t sustain the show’s 40-minute run time; the joke got old fast so to speak.

Leard also acts as his own sound-effect machine when for example the sperm soldiers buckle themselves into their aircraft. This leads to plenty of extra sound on stage which I feel becomes distracting. All those “sound effects” really started to wear on my nerves.

To make a long story short Leard is a talented performer and I’d love to see him again but in a different show please.

That being said some audience members were laughing so obviously Leard managed to hit their funny bones just not mine….