“Flayed” s rapidly becoming one of my most recommended shows this Hollywood Fringe Festival season. While standing in line, bumping into other Fringe regulars, whispering to each other about the shows we’ve seen and what we love, I always tell them about this quirky, funny, wildly weird and totally relatable one-man show. Hard to describe, impossible to forget. Josiah Blount’s brilliant, hilarious, and incredibly moving play is about his journey to self acceptance as a gay man trying to crush himself into the ill-fitting role of a conservative southern pastor. The play revolves around his very first sermon. Kind of a job interview, where he presents himself to the church, and as his sermon unfolds, who he truly is becomes clearer and clearer to him. Confusing for the congregation…enlightening for Josiah.
His inner battle is told through a wild variety of characters living in Josiah’s head. Comical, whimsical, dark and twisted, they lure us and tempt us and proposition us. They are all intricate, visceral, and far too long ignored pieces of him. And they are demanding to be heard.
I would love to think that this sermon actually happened. That Josiah found himself while he was actually standing in front of an undiscerning crowd as their puzzled faces looked back up at him. Perhaps it happened, perhaps not. Either way, this makes for an incredible show. The brilliant way Josiah turns from one character to the next, the way he morphs into them is utterly fascinating. He’s a professionally trained clown, so this must have helped enormously with the physicality of this piece. But, ironically, it all really comes down to belief, doesn’t it? Belief in him, in his journey, his choices, his grace. I can tell you without question that I believed every word and every character and every moment and every single revelation that washed across his lovely face.
“Flayed’ is a masterpiece in solo theatre. It’s a brutally honest and beautifully crafted opening up of one human to his audience. He really does peel away his layers, but if there was pain, it has been long forgotten. As if the pain was in the staying hidden and not in the revealing.
Josiah Blount’s “Flayed” is totally hilarious, purposeful, heart wrenching and healing and is an absolute ‘must see’ Fringe show.
The Broadwater (Black Box)
6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038
Thursday, June 15at, 10:00 PM
Saturday, June 17 at 1:00 PM
Sunday, June 18 at 5:30 PM
Saturday, June 24 at 10:00 PM