Kitt & Jane: an interactive survival guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future is a mouthful to say and even at times to remember, hence from here on out it shall now fondly be referred to as just Kitt & Jane. Kitt & Jane follows our favourite Kitt from SNAFU Dance Theatre’s amazing Little Orange Man and it carries the same charm and fast paced energy that we all fell in love with the first time we saw Little Orange Man.
Kitt & Jane finds the titular characters “hijacking” a school assembly as they are convinced that they have an hour left to live and that they need to teach people on how to survive the upcoming apocalypse while telling the story of how they came to be dying.
Most people at the Fringe Festival who check out Kitt & Jane are likely going to be talking about Little Orange Man and possibly even comparing the two. I need to get it out of the way and suggest that a comparison of the two shouldn’t really matter. Kitt & Jane is clever and smart enough to stand on its own, it’s unnecessary to have seen Little Orange Man going into this epic theatre adventure.
The show is full of political and environmental messages as well about the safe keeping of our planet. It focuses on the depletion of species as well as genetically modified foods with many well planted shows at Monsanto and their seed monopoly. Each message is clear in its presentation yet never comes across as preachy.
Ingrid Hansen (Kitt) and Rod Peter Jr (Jane) share a beautiful chemistry on stage and maintain an energy that keeps the audience never knowing what’s coming. The play is also filled with fun shadow puppetry and amazing musical numbers featuring Hansen on the ukulele and Peter Jr on the glockenspiel. Kitt & Jane is the type of theatre that audiences and artists alike will walk away loving. Audiences will walk away with an immense amount of respect for the amazing talent presented while artists will walk away wishing that they could come up with something half as clever as these amazing characters.
My only criticism, and it’s not even a real criticism, is that part of the reason these characters are so charming and so cute to watch together is because of their innocence. I understand completely that Kitt & Jane is more about losing innocence through the bastardization of the world, but it’s the innocence that we want these adorable characters to hold onto. Near the end of the play Kitt drops a single f-bomb and while it’s nothing I’ve never heard before it just felt so out of place and almost forced. It didn’t fit with the innocent character that we all know and love and overall doesn’t even fit the tone of the play.