Orlando Fringe Review: The Surprise, by Martin Dockery

by

comment

herojpg

Martin Dockery isn't comfortable with the label "storyteller," yet that's what he is. Oh, not the sock-puppets-and-kiddies-type of storyteller that he's sure you imagine when you hear the word; no, Dockery is one of those guys who can pluck one moment out of life’s sprawling randomness and with his keenly stylized delivery, find the meaning in it and shape it into a gem.

Dockery is a longtime Orlando Fringe favorite, one of four traveling storytellers we profiled in last week's Fringe preview. His offering at this year's festival tells the story of his discovery that his very repressed father has, upon retiring, remarried and begun a new family. In Vietnam. Without telling anyone. In other words, Dockery has a brand-new set of siblings, and they're 36 years younger than he is — and half-Vietnamese. This discovery is interwoven with the dawning realization that his relationship is either dissolving or on the point of deepening; neither he nor his girlfriend is sure yet which it will be.

As Dockery expands in his utterly unique voice – by turns raspy, yelpy, growly; half-strangled at points – upon the "epic game of emotional chicken" his father is playing (and which Dockery and his girlfriend are also playing), we realize that the surprise of the sudden half-siblings is not the titular surprise. Rather, the ways people act, their essential unknowability, the unpredictable nature of love – that's the surprise. That's always the surprise.

 

THE SURPRISE

Martin Dockery - Brooklyn, NY

Length: 60 minutes

Venue: Yellow

Price: $11 (+svc. charge)

Disc.: None

Rating: 7+ -

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.