It might seem like comic Josh Dunn and theatre regular Howard Beye make an odd couple, but together they have created a one-person Fringe performance that will challenge expectations and inspire.
The Sh*t Show: Misconceptions and Nuggets of Truth Deep Within uses the real-life experience of Dunn's cerebral palsy and builds a world around it to explore individuality, isolation and imagination.
Working on the play since last spring, Dunn wanted to confront how people perceive disabilities. Initially, Beye wanted to stage a show about a young man with CP being pushed around at school.
"I said, 'Shit, Howard, a guy with CP isn't really going to get bullied physically but there are lots of other ways his life can be made miserable,' and so it went from there," says Dunn, a local comedian whose jokes often focus on the extent to which people tip-toe around disability, sometimes ignoring it.
"People are absolutely uncomfortable with disability. Disabled folks rarely occupy positions of power. If the show didn't address this, then I would be just as cowardly as everyone else," Dunn says. "I thought a one-man show would be the right way to get my life story out," he adds.
With his own practice as a stand-up comic and Beye's almost-lifetime of experience in Halifax theatre, the two created a space for a young man to contemplate his differences, both from the world and within himself.
"There are hopefully funny moments," says Dunn, "But this is a serious piece. I'm certainly no stranger to the stage and doing comedy all these years has helped prepare me for something like this."