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TJ Dawe: A Canadian Bartender at Butlins

From 4 critic and 12 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Confusing, Dizzying

About the show

An autobiographical tale about pouring pints at Butlin's Holiday Camp - the McDonald's of resorts - a British cultural institution - and an absolute shithole. More…

Part of Soho Playhouse's 2018 Fringe Encore Series.

Winnipeg Free Press

for a previous production "A deceptively simple theatrical experience in which Dawe plays himself...His is a stranger in a strange land tale in which co-workers would wake him up to hear his exotic Canadian accent and his common Canuck words did not translate well in proper British society. The 75-minute remembrance is enhanced by the telling, enthusiastic and well-paced...Thirteen years after its debut here, 'Canadian Bartender' can still serve a stout theatrical brew." Full Review

Orlando Sentinel

for a previous production "The joy of watching him perform is how he fearlessly plows through the words, jumping here and there...It’s an exhilarating journey as he detours through stories about high dives or being caught in an undertow. The main thrust of his story involves ordinary experiences and observations...It’s how he tells of this youthful exploit that keeps you hooked." Full Review

Edmonton Journal

for a previous production "Dawe delivers the entire 'A Canadian Bartender at Butlin’s' without a hiccup, a show ostensibly about his time spent slinging beer at a rundown British vacation getaway, but infused with stories from his own life...His stories are great and Dawe is an amazing performer, but sometimes things blur together without explanation...If you’re looking for an amazing storyteller, then look no further. TJ Dawe will wow and amaze with his storytelling prowess." Full Review


for a previous production "TJ Dawe has a lot to say about the service industry and being a bartender in a small amount of time. He is enthusiastic in his delivery...but the story goes nowhere fast. Story tropes are repeated ad nauseam...Dawe’s story bounces around so often, and his faux British accent is often spoken so fast it's hard to differentiate...That’s not to say the play is bad, just a little repetitive and underwhelming...It plays like a stand-up comedy set—some jokes work, some flounder." Full Review

Funny, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if A breezy one-man show with lots of accents, storytelling and lots of pints, told by a charming performer

Don't see it if If you need guffaws vs. chuckles, don't like one-man shows and need a more substantial story.

Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining

See it if If you want a play that is of memory genre. It is funny, a recount of when we worked at a British resort.

Don't see it if If you want a linear play, one that has story from start to finish. actor with multiple characters.

Well-staged (bit stand-up-ish) / very entertaining, High-energy & lightning-fast delivery (some accents), Funny lesson in new world-english vs brit-english, Absorbing / resonant / clever / goofy / endearing, Humorous well-written 1-man autobiographical play

See it if you enjoy one-person based-on-real-life comedies (think 'stand-up play'). Strong story-teller, bare stage, forces you to think & visualize.

Don't see it if you want moving sets, props, costumes, etc., &/or one-person shows ain't your thing at all. Strictly bare-minimum here: a performer & a box.

Also In every way "Thom Pain" DIDN'T work...... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great storytelling

See it if you want to see a talented, amiable Canadian raconteur tell some true tales from his time as a nascent bartender in a passé British resort.

Don't see it if u don't have patience for non-linear storytelling (which eventually comes together) or theatre of the mind (as no props/sets are employed).

Funny, Quirky, Confusing, Slow, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy memoir stories. You like one actor playing multiple characters. You like coming of age stories. You want to be entertained.

Don't see it if You prefer clearer storytelling: the mini-stories don't merge until the very end. Before that happens, it's hard to see the connection.

Funny, Dizzying, Quirky, Entertaining, Stark

See it if you like a stark set with a storyteller in a small venue, a 75-minute humorous journey with a likable host

Don't see it if you want a linear plot, more cast members, a physical set, a big show or musical

Also Tales from life at a rapid pace. Well done!

Clever, Indulgent, Banal, Confusing, Slow

See it if you enjoy spoofs of British accents and mannerisms and loosely connected detailed comic vignettes from adolescent Canadian male perspective.

Don't see it if you do not like one actor dialogues with no set or music, or prefer a linear plot, character development, or significant and resonant theme.

Funny, Indulgent, Confusing, Entertaining

See it if Canadian perspective of Brit culture as told to an American audience. Bartender tending tales from the front lines. Multiple characters.

Don't see it if Confusing stream of consciousness which eventually has a point, but asks much from the audience to sort out for duration. Really fast/Showy.

Delightful, Dizzying, Great acting, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy good old-fashioned storytelling... or bartenders or Canadians.

Don't see it if you want a clear story with a beginning, a middle and an end. This is somewhat random and pointless, but enjoyable throughout.

Funny, Edgy, Quirky, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if you want to hear from a good story teller who speaks the bar language fast building good visuals in your head from a bare stage.

Don't see it if you expect a conclusion. There is a lot of repetition in this short presentation and it falls a bit short.

Ambitious, Dizzying, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if You want to see a man with interesting stories talk about them on stage.

Don't see it if The tropes used get repetitive and convoluted. His circular story telling is confusing and doesn't come together until the very end.

Funny, Clever, Dizzying, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a solo performance by a Canadian bartender sharing his personal experiences

Don't see it if a solo autobiographical performance, with a heavy British accent. His story jumps around, with not much substance

Also TJ was clever, but I found the show a bit boring.

Cast & Creatives (2)