Bane : Trilogy

By Elyce Phillips

Bane 3 is a one-man action thriller about killer-for-hire Bruce Bane. Joe Bone, with nothing more than some musical accompaniment from Ben Roe, spins an epic tale of love, betrayal and violence. This show is part of a trilogy, told over three nights, however, the shows can be seen individually and in any order. For those who have missed parts 1 and 2, there is a handy quick-fire recap of the story to kick things off.

Bone is a skilled performer. His ability to flip between characters is truly impressive. Bane 3 is incredibly physical. With no props, not only is Bone managing a whole cast of characters, he is also creating scenery and miming daring getaways on motorcyles. The humour in Bane 3 is often found in the physicality of Bone’s performance. Fight scenes quickly become complicated as he shuffles between characters at an intense rate. Goofy voices also got laughs, particularly a creepy whispering henchman.

All the usual clichés of gangster stories are here – the bad guys are gruff Italian-Americans, a greedy and slightly thick brother-in-law is the comic relief, and the few women are either saintly motherly figures or eye candy. It’s a genre that has so much to play with, but aside from the odd wacky name or silly exchange not a lot is done with it. The stereotypes are exaggerated but rarely questioned. As for the plot of Bane 3, it’s straight-up drama. The ending in particular is serious and jarring, and the lack of a punch line felt anti-climactic.

This is an accomplished show from a talented performer. Joe Bone knows what he’s doing. Bane 1 has previously done well at several Fringe festivals and has picked up several awards along the way. However, it feels like an odd fit for the Comedy Festival. I went in expecting comedy, and while the show got some laughs, I found it lacking. Bane 3 is, however, an impressive one-man action drama. Go in with an open mind and there’s plenty to enjoy.

Bane is on at the Victoria Hotel – Acacia Room until April 20