Timmy, the Dog, Disappears is a dark absurdist Fringe sitcom about a family failing to stay normal

Black Sheep Theatre’s Timmy, the Dog, Disappears is a bit of an absurdist sitcom—a play that messes with the conventions of 1950s suburban family television, creating a world that feels almost dystopian and more than a little troubling. It’s also hilarious in its nonsensicalness, a zany comedy from frequent Fringe creator Martin Dockery.

The play is still rooted in reality, but everything is just a little off. Jason is in the couch, allegedly fighting monsters; Shawna has come home from a month away finding herself; and the mother and father of the household are through-the-looking-glass parodies of the breadwinner and perfect, devoted housewife.

Shawna seems to ground the show in reality, or at least tries to—that’s kind of impossible. Her father is a bomb-shelter designer who’s going deaf from testing his products, and a lot of the show’s one-liner comedy comes from him mishearing the other characters. Shawna’s mom is the housewife par excellence—if that housewife lived in the twilight zone, that is. For instance, she makes the same eggplant dish every single day because it’s her husband’s favorite, and she has almost criminal negligence for her son Jason. Jason is maybe the most interesting character in the show, and certainly its biggest oddball. He spends the show fighting monsters in the closet, and next to his sister Shawna’s relative normalcy seems completely disconnected from reality. His devotedness to his mother borders on the insane, but actor Mike Kosowan’s commitment to the craziness is impressive.

Timmy is a family drama. Every member of this family has a strained and strange relationship with everyone else. Jason is devoted to his mother to an unhealthy level; Shawna’s father is ecstatic that his daughter is home after a month away, but she doesn’t seem happy about it; and their parents seem to be having their own relationship troubles. It’s a dark comedy about a family failing to stay normal, and one of the funnier shows of the Fringe that shouldn’t be missed.

This review was originally published on the capitalcriticscircle.com and has been reposted with permission.

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