Guy Dartnell: Travels with my Virginity Friday September 9, 2005
“Everything sounds better with a British accent.”
Is it just me, or does everything sound more romantic when said with a British accent?
It’s true, I may be a bit biased being an American girl who is easily charmed with the sophistication of an accent, but honestly I was enthralled in Guy’s storytelling. It was less about the way he walked around using the lights and the chair to help emphasize the story and more about the way he just told it. He’s a brilliant storyteller and you can tell he’s been telling this one for a very long time. Surprisingly, and to our advantage, he still makes it interesting.
I most enjoyed his humor even when the subject matter was less than funny. There’s nothing funny about the French man who seems to be sleeping with his daughter but Guy make the situation light hearted in a sort of, “We have to laugh at it, ‘cause we can’t cry about it.” way.
I often found myself lost in his story and unable to place that I was in a theatre surrounded by people. However, towards the end I started to look around to observe other people’s reactions. The guy next to me was hardly laughing and seemed to loath the story. I had a feeling he was way past 19 and still had his virginity (nothing wrong with that) but I think he felt it was a personal attack on those who hadn’t had sex yet. Another man who came with his girl friend started to interest me because for the last thirty minutes of the show he seemed to be enthralled in the cleaning of his finger nails. He never once smiled at anything said and ignored his girlfriend next to him who was rolling with laughter. He seemed above it all for some reason, barely looking up at Mr. Dartnell. I’m sure his thoughts were not on the story at hand.
The thing I liked most about the story, putting the witty accent aside, was the ability to connect it to my own experience. Though loosing my own virginity was nothing like what Guy experienced the similarities between being young and out on one’s own are very familiar. I think many people share the experience of placing importance on something that’s not all that important in the end and forget to experience the journey along the way. Guy’s retelling of the journey is an important reminder in our society that we need to sometimes stop wishing for what we don’t have and focus on what is going on right in front of our eyes. That and it’ll happen eventually if we’re patient.
Guy’s art is an interesting one; the one man (person) show is always a hard one to pull off. Half comedy routine and half biographical his goal is to keep the audience interested in his story. By acting out a number of the different characters,including himself as a young lad, and creating a number of spaces and locations using only an empty stage with minimal props and lights is a feat in itself.
I have no complaints about this show. It held my interest and was a story well-told in an art form that’s not always easy to do. Even if the lame hipster in front of me and the virgin beside me didn’t think so, I’d listen to stories of French sexless travels any day. Plus it’s good for American’s to be reminded that people do have sex, it can be funny, and we could always spend more time talking about it in public. (Though maybe not in front of the children.)