Te Auaha - Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

02/03/2021 - 06/03/2021

NZ Fringe Festival 2021

Production Details

Troy Eats a Can of Beans in Fifty Minutes is set to make its world premiere in New Zealand Fringe 2021.

One man. One stage. One can of beans. Troy has fifty minutes to truly understand and ingest the humble bean.

From your classic baked bean on toast, to the Fava bean which predates human history, this show explores all things “bean”.

What happens if Troy can’t eat the beans? That will be up to the legume gods to decide but trust us… you don’t want to miss it!

Te Auaha, Tapere Iti
March 2-6 2021
@ 9pm
Tickets: $13-18

Co-creator and performer – Troy Etherington
Co-creator/lighting designer/operator – Campbell Wright
Co-creator/producer – Austin Harrison

Photography and Poster Design – Emily Brown

Theatre , Solo ,

50 min

Talent wasted on show with no point

Review by Ines Maria Almeida 03rd Mar 2021

The title of the show is clear but also incorrect. In reality, during Troy Eats A Can of Beans in Fifty Minutes, Troy eats two cans of beans. With the first can, he eats like a wild animal or something out of a nightmare. He pours the beans on a desk (is it clean?! Who knows!) and eats them with his hands (are they clean?! Probably not!).  

And if you can get through watching a grown man eat beans with his bare hands while on his knees without throwing up, then colour me impressed. People are cringing – I can’t see them but I can hear them: “Dude!” and “Ugh!” and “Ew!” It feels like someone has let the crew of Jackass into Wellington Fringe and my biggest question is “WHY?” But I’m hopeful and I figure at some point Troy is going to get hit me with his best stuff.

As is the nature of Fringe, there is audience participation. How many cans are on the stage?! How many beans are in a can?! I leave the young audience to bring the energy, though when I look around there isn’t much of an audience at all.

There’s a giant timer on stage, and I’m not sure if it’s a countdown to put the audience at ease (Yes! It’s almost over!), or the countdown to finishing the can of beans – but then he does that within the first 15 minutes of the show so I’m assuming the former. It’s not helpful. I’m constantly watching the clock waiting for it to end. 

Bean goo glistens on Troy’s hands during most of the show, keeping my stomach in a low churn the entire time. Just when I think it can’t get more gross, he takes out wet wipes and I can’t unsee it. This isn’t for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. I’ll cut to the end and tell you that the best part of this show happens in the last 11 minutes.

Troy is a talented actor. He’s able to command the stage, goo or no goo. But my question is why waste this talent on a show that has no point? Humour ranges from toilet (“Flick the Bean” game – clever.), to just plain sad (he falls in love with a mop with a can of beans as a head).  

Music is used in a very clever way, helping propel the narrative-free show along – but it’s not enough to save the show. I suppose if I try hard enough I could find some glimmer of story here, perhaps the loneliness of being human. Maybe a longing for human connection. But in reality, this is just a show about a lonely man and a can of beans. There is no metaphor here. There is no deeper narrative. No meaning. And that might be good enough for some theatre-goers, but not this one. 


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