Saturday, September 19, 2015

David Boyle at Elgin Fringe Festival

Drawing on a wealth of personal material, comedic storyteller David Boyle captivated audiences in three shows entitled "Pizza & Pop (and Church)" at Elgin Fringe Festival.

Boyle's Catholic school upbringing and ongoing career as a church musician are a fertile source of interconnected anecdotes that he recounts exuberantly with sound effects, voice characterizations and carefully placed gestures.

Hitting his pace like the writer of book you just can't put down, Boyle crafts his stories from vivid, sensory observations of the details that make an ordinary experience memorable, like the sound of eating potato chips during a play, the looks of a monstrous school teacher, or the smell of a "senior moment."

David Boyle performs at the 2015 Elgin Fringe Festival.
Photo by Scales Off Media.

But good stories become great when constructed with the proper sense of scale and proportion, and Boyle's tales reveal a well-developed discipline of structure that would hold up to even the driest analysis. Though to an audience, they just seem fascinating.

Adding to his occasional interjections of song, Boyle's mastery of the music of the spoken word is evident in the timing, pitch and tempo of his delivery. It's a voice you never grow tired of listening to.

Yielding every so often to confessions of guilt or grief, Boyle is part homilist, but his message is ultimately a joyous one, beautifully illustrated with revelations of the humanity—and the humor—that connects us. 

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