The ubiquitous one-person Fringe show rears its therapeutic head in Andrew Wade’s The Most Honest Man in the World. A free-wheeling recount of important moments in Wade’s life, the shows sits inside an examination of truth and lies, as Wade recreates the elements of a lie-detector machine from readily available items including an iPhone and blood pressure cuff.
Like many of the one-person shows at the Fringe though, Wade believes that he has something important to say, but where most fail is how they routinely play out as a pseudo-therapy session for the artist, rather than as entertainment or even as a reflection on our own lives. That isn’t to say there isn’t some funny stuff here as Wade talks about past loves and seemingly inconsequential moments that have had a profound influence on him, but we’re never really invested. It is the equivalent of listening to the life story of someone that you just met and has lived a pretty normal life, just like the rest of us.
The Most Honest Man in the World only hits its stride in the final few minutes of the piece as Wade takes his own home-made lie-detector test to answer a question about his love for one of the women in his life. The post-script though, where he asks the audience to determine the fate of one of his primary sources, feels arbitrary and even a little disingenuous; I wanted to shout out that it was time for him to throw it all away and move on.
The Most Honest Man in the World created and performed by Andrew Wade. Playing as part of the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival at Arts Umbrella (1286 Cartwright St, Granville Island) until September 19. Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.