GEEZER solo show by Goeff Hoyle a Smash HIt

Goeff Hoyle imitating a sparrow in his solo show GEEZER playing at The Marsh in San Francisco

GEEZER: Solo show written and performed by Geoff Hoyle. Directed by David Ford. Through May 1. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St., S.F. One hour 45 minutes. (800) 838-3006 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (800) 838-3006 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or


He’s back! How lucky can we in the Bay Area be with our favorite performance artist, Geoff Hoyle, on stage at The Marsh on Valencia Street. He was last seen, stealing the show in A.C.T’s production of Scapin and this time he is strutting his stuff in an autobiographical stint under the superb direction of David Frost who has guided many of the monologists who have graced the intimate confines of The Marsh.

We in the Bay Area may claim Goeff Hoyle as our own but we find out that his roots are elsewhere. We forgave him for his two-year desertion to Broadway in 1994 to create his much applauded role as Azuz in The Lion King. Labeling the evening as a solo show is an injustice. He fills the stage with a multitude of characters: his father, mother, wife, children, doctor(s), teachers, buskers, etc. He is absolutely amazing as a little bird perched on the back of a chair, suspiciously chirping as he surveys the audience Although we in San Francisco claim Geoff as one of our own his birth and formative years were in England.

His opening line, “I’m starting to feel old” is the cue to the tone of his 95 minutes on the stage. As he approaches his 65th birthday, he recognizes his mortality, especially since his father died at the age of 60. He may be recognizing his mortality but age has not deprived him of his exceptional ability to create characters, twist his body into impossible positions, and individually contort/mold every 53 of his facial muscles into myriads of expression. With only two lines, he perfectly describes Henri Bergson’s relative time theory: 1961 to 1971 took 27 years. 1971 to 2011 took only 2 months. It is an introspective performance attuned to a mature audience who gave him a deserved standing ovation.

The non-linear format allows him to intersperse his narrative with humor. Hoyle’s comic skills are legion and he is adept at split second shifts from serious demeanor to laughter. Early in the performance, his dissection of medical establishment and its intrusions on the body, morphs into a computer game format (Disease the Video Game) that is hysterical. It seems perfectly natural for him to shift into a reflective mode during his next block of vignettes visiting his ill father, reminiscing about their relationship as he plays both roles. With out a moment’s hesitation he becomes his pre-teen self forced to act out the lines being read by his Latin teacher. We get to know his father who gave him his first book(s) of Shakespeare and his mime teacher Etienne Decroux who he greatly admires.

Goeff Hoyle creates a memorable evening that should not be missed. The run has been extended until July 10.

Kedar K Adour, MD

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