Posted on Jul 23, 2013
5 out of 5
The Butterfly Effect is the second part of Nagle Jackson's Two-Part Invention presented at Union Station as part of the Fringe. If you have not read this reviewer's views on the first part, "Bernice at Bay", it is recommended that you do so.
In this part, Randall (Robert Gibby Brand) presents a lecture on the art and nature of failure., with anecdotes drawn from the history of the speaker. As with "Bernice", this is primarily a monologue, interacting with an unseen audience until the speaker's mask slips and the truth is revealed. Mr. Brand does an excellent job as the aging academic, rolling confidently through acre after acre of knee-deep verbiage with ease and aplomb. His "digressions" come light and swift, one-offs to be laughed at and forgotten, so we do not notice as they build up.
The piece is a bit obtuse for persons (such as, admittedly, yours truly) who are not entirely versed in the world of philosophical discourse. Fortunately, as the piece proceeds it drifts further and further into the speaker's own world. While perhaps not quite as captivating as "Bernice", this piece nevertheless manages to draw us in.
There is very little one can say about the parallel nature of these pieces and the characters therein without giving away too much. Suffice to say that they mirror each other in unexpected ways. Mr Jackson has created an interesting little universe here, a sort of way-stop on the road to oblivion, where ghosts take one last look back before fading away. This is an interesting brace of pieces, and the more one dwells upon them the better they gel. It is an interesting pair of pieces, and an excellent addition to this year's Fringe.