Review by Max D’Ambrosio – Showbill.ca Staff Writer
In Bill Pats’ one-person play Executing Justice, he portrays Daryl Kane, the first inmate to be put on death row in Canada since 1962, who is about to be executed at midnight on April 7th of the year 2030. The show is inspired by a real 2013 Angus Reid poll result, which showed that a majority of Canadians support the return of capital punishment.
Through Kane’s journey from foster care to prison, as well as a variety of other characters, the audience is guided through a deeply compassionate and right-thinking response to capital punishment and the justice system in general.
Props and costumes are minimal, which suits the subject matter well. In fact, Pats’ visceral body language and astoundingly expressive face would have been more than enough to delineate characters, set scenes, and carry attention, even if there had been no prop or costume changes whatsoever. The show is a classic example of the one-person form, designed to minimize the emotional barriers between the performer, his characters, and the audience.
This direct exposure to the intensity of Kane’s hope, despair, and rage is a harrowing experience, but it is also genuinely enlightening. It digs deep into the human cost of a particular social ill, the corruption and decay of our prison system, as only the finest art can.
The Bottom Line
See Executing Justice, and be moved – both by the urgency of its message, and by its artistry.