jem rolls MAXIMUM CRUSOE
Like a lot of us, jem rolls had his plans upended when the pandemic hit. Unlike most of us, he had to ride it out at the site of a Hindu shrine in India, where he didn’t speak the native language and didn’t know anybody.
In recent years, rolls has moved from performance poetry to storytelling, a move that I welcome, especially since elements of his performance poetry remain in his storytelling. His performance poetry displayed a remarkable way with words, and his storytelling shows a keen eye and a great sense of how to arrange the details. The unifying issue for me was the clash of perspectives, from the conspiracy theorists to stoners to the dominant Hindu faith to rolls’ atheism and then his kingfish-inspired moment of enlightenment. His parting gift to the permanent residents pulled everything together.
On the Sunday afternoon performance I attended, he had some trouble with his voice, clearing his throat often, but this was a minor issue. The show, particularly for touring Fringe players, must go on.