UNO FEST REVIEW: The Adversary

Master storyteller Andrew Bailey takes a compassionate stab at justice and dignity in The Adversary.

Master storyteller Andrew Bailey takes a compassionate stab at justice and dignity in The Adversary, the latest and perhaps sharpest installment yet in this hometown talent’s sweet-and-sardonic monologue series.

Master storyteller Andrew Bailey takes a compassionate stab at justice and dignity in The Adversary, the latest and perhaps sharpest installment yet in this hometown talent’s sweet-and-sardonic monologue series.

Master storyteller Andrew Bailey takes a compassionate stab at justice and dignity in The Adversary, the latest and perhaps sharpest installment yet in this hometown talent’s sweet-and-sardonic monologue series.

Best described as a tale of poetic justice, the narrative is based largely in Bailey’s decade-long stint as caretaker for Victoria’s St. John the Divine, the church tucked away at Quadra and Mason that serves equitable time as a haven for God’s children and an out-of-the way spot to shoot up for junkies.  Through the opinions from and interactions with a motley group of homeless people, we learn that Bailey’s gig was as much about connecting to the humanity in others as it was about pre-church lawn mows and de-needling the underbrush every Sunday.

Bailey uses his 60 minutes wisely to unpack justice as concept—both the street variety and otherwise—while commenting on tolerance, the heartbreak and fellowship of Victoria’s homeless population and his personal take on the kind of battles that are worth fighting.  While each piece before Adversary has exposed Bailey’s total lack of self-assurance, this new work trails his evolving sixth sense for knowing when to take charge and when to leave the shit-kicking to someone else.

Delivered with subtlety, honest wit and expert comedic timing, Bailey appropriately humanizes the story beyond the realm of preachy or patronizing and his clean transitions between both character and anecdote keep the audience on pace from start to finish.

As someone who has seen, loved, praised and publicly extolled the virtues of the award-winning Andrew Bailey Monologue Trilogy (Scrupulosity, Putz and Limbo, respectively), I see The Adversary as a comfortable fit for the more mature, less-freaked-out-but-still-geeky next chapter in Bailey’s confessional saga.  Mostly autobiographical, the sub-themes and people involved in each piece have been virtually the same—yet Bailey has deftly used each monologue to bring one element, one particular cast of characters from his life to centre stage for a level of charming and thoughtful analysis that earns every laugh, gasp and agreeable nod it gets.

Performed for the first time ever to a sold-out crowd on Sunday night, The Adversary is poised to become another runaway hit for Bailey on the Fringe circuit this summer.  Victoria is only too lucky to get to see it first.

— Melanie Tromp Hoover

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
Vancouver Island children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

This image released by SYFY shows Meredith Garretson, left, and Alan Tudyk in the new series "Resident Alien." (James Dittinger/SYFY via AP)
B.C.-shot ‘Resident Alien’ invader gets lift-off with viewers

New Syfy series catching on, proving TV doesn’t have to come from premium cable

WILDLIFE TREE: Tofino Poet Laureate Christine Lowther stands next to a giant cedar tree on District Lot 114, the site of Tofino’s controversial affordable housing project. The tree was pinned with an official Ministry of Forests yellow wildlife tree sign to educate fallers that the tree needs to be left standing for food, shelter and nesting. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino author Christine Lowther calling for poetry about trees

“I’m thrilled to be of service to trees through poetry.”

West Coast-themed metal art by Nanaimo artists Hayley Willoughby (pictured), her father Jack and partner Blair LeFebvre is on display in the window of Lululemon at Woodgrove Centre from now until March 13 as part of the store’s monthly local artist program. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Metal artists present cross-generational show at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Work by Hayley Willoughby, her partner and father on display in Lululemon window

Vancouver Island Symphony principal violinist and concertmaster Calvin Dyck is among the musicians performing in the upcoming Salmon and Trout concert. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Vancouver Island Symphony will make a splash with fish-themed quintets concert

Performance was to take place in November but was rescheduled due to COVID-19

Nico Rhodes, Lucas Smart, James McRae and Kosma Busheikin (from left) recorded their set for the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival’s online video series at the Harbour City Theatre in December. (Photo courtesy François Savard)
Music starts next week at online Nanaimo International Jazz Festival

Ten free, virtual performances to occur over three weeks in March

The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
 The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
Victoria calls for artists to fill Commercial Alley gallery

Competition open to artists in the Capital Regional District

Cowichan Valley author Teresa Schapansky’s books for young readers have become a phenomenon on Amazon. (Submitted)
Cowichan author tops Amazon charts

Award-winning author Teresa Schapansky learned of a need for low-level readers in the classroom

Nadia Rieger restocks some of the art supplies at the Crows Nest Artist Collective. Their move to stocking more art supplies over the course of the pandemic was a response to increased demand, which she thinks shows people have been turning to creating art to cope with mental health struggles due to lockdowns and restrictions on other activities. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Vancouver Islanders using art to conquer COVID blues

It seems people have been turning to their creative sides to stay mentally and emotionally healthy

Chris Bullock, Parksville artist, stands next to his ‘Mermother’ series, on display at the McMillan Arts Centre until Feb. 29. Bullock himself will be at the MAC from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. every Saturday until the end of the month. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Chris Bullock’s unique illustrations on display

‘I’m heavily influenced by old comic book styles from the 1950s’

Most Read