Buffoon

Buffoon

Written by: Irani, Anosh

Three-time Governor General’s Literary Award–shortlisted author and playwright Anosh Irani’s critically acclaimed one-man show Buffoon is a masterclass of tragicomic theatre.

Born to circus folk who prefer trapezing over parenting, Felix quickly learns to turn life’s misfortunes into jokes. His longing for family and home is piqued at the tender age of seven when he falls hopelessly in love with an older woman, the beguiling Aja, who is eight. In the process, a clown is born, and we watch him grow into a middle-aged buffoon. Over time, Felix stops waiting for someone else to love him; his journey becomes one of loving himself. A story of love, loss, and the fate that binds us, Buffoon is a gut-wrenching one-man show that expertly walks the tightrope between heartbreak and hilarity.

Three-time Governor General’s Literary Award–shortlisted author and playwright Anosh Irani’s critically acclaimed one-man show Buffoon is a masterclass of tragicomic theatre.

Born to circus folk who prefer trapezing over parenting, Felix quickly learns to turn life’s misfortunes into jokes. His longing for family and home is piqued at the tender age of seven when he falls hopelessly in love with an older woman, the beguiling Aja, who is eight. In the process, a clown is born, and we watch him grow into a middle-aged buffoon. Over time, Felix stops waiting for someone else to love him; his journey becomes one of loving himself. A story of love, loss, and the fate that binds us, Buffoon is a gut-wrenching one-man show that expertly walks the tightrope between heartbreak and hilarity.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc - Sep 7, 2021
Specifications 88 pages | 5.25 in x 8 in
Supporting Resources
(select item to download)
Excerpt

PRAISE FOR ANOSH IRANI

“One of CanLit’s most innovative chameleons.” — Quill & Quire 


PRAISE FOR ANSOSH IRANI AND BUFFOON

Winner of Two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Including for Outstanding New Play

Buffoon matches a multilayered script with a magnificent solo performance … [An] epic tale of love and betrayal, triumph and loss, connection and abandonment — the human story.” — Globe and Mail

“A marvel of solo storytelling.” — NOW Magazine (NNNN)

“Irani has written a clever, thickly-layered monologue in which Felix tells us his life story from the prison cell where the tale inevitably leads him … Writing in the Beckettian tradition, and in the vein of Morris Panych … Irani gives us a dark tale for our dark times with some laughs along the way and a gleam of hope that the broken can be mended and the unforgivable forgiven.” —Vancouver Sun 

“The play … begins with Felix as a hopeful child … and tracks his growing cynicism around life and love … An involving journey.” — Toronto Star

“An engrossing, heart wrenching tale of love lost, regained, and lost again … Bittersweet, poignant, funny and gripping … This is one play that will keep your mind — and your heart — engaged for a long time. Don’t miss it.” — Entertainment Vancouver

“Irani’s storytelling is a mix of fanciful wordplay … punctuated by poetic insights.” — Stir

Buffoon is full of powerful moments and rich metaphor.” — Broadway World

“Masterful … A quietly dense, complex story of yearning, love denied and love given, a story of a soul looking for acceptance … Anosh Irani is a wonderful playwright.” — The Slotkin Letter

Buffoon … traces the evolution of a clown — thematically and conceptually — and his discovery of his art … [Irani] synthesizes slapstick with tragedy in a final moment that … lands with a shattering effect.” — Drew Rowsome, My Gay Toronto

“A profound, beautiful tragedy … Captivating, emotionally taxing, and downright great.” — Mooney on Theatre

“Irani is an esteemed novelist-playwright, and, perhaps, because he has a foot in both literary camps, he is able to fashion such deep characterizations for both page and stage. Irani has poured all his considerable skill into crafting a compelling portrait of Felix the clown in words … The marvel of Irani’s script is just how much humour, cynical though it may be, he has put into Felix’s storytelling.” — Paula Citron


PRAISE FOR ANOSH IRANI AND THE MEN IN WHITE

Finalist, Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama

Nominated for Three Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, Including for Outstanding Original Script

?

“The play feels so contemporary; its themes — Islamophobia, immigration — are obviously very of the moment, taking on a new urgency of late … I am glad a playwright of Irani’s calibre is dealing with them.” — Globe and Mail


PRAISE FOR BOMBAY BLACK

Finalist, Governor General’s Literary Award

Winner of 4 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Including for Outstanding New Play (2006)

Nominated for 4 Dora Mavor Moore Awards (2016)

Named One of the 20 Best Shows on Vancouver Stages in 2017

Named One of the Top 5 Shows at the Fringe by Global News TV

Pick of the Fringe Award at the Vancouver Fringe Festival 2017

A Georgia Straight Critics’ Pick Award Runner-up

A Vancouver Sun Top 7 Show Pick

A Vancouver Province Top 7 Show Pick

A Vancouver Presents Top 10 Show Pick

?

“This visually stunning and beautifully acted production shines . . . poetic and haunting.” — Now, NNNN

“Although the ivory tower story — a young maiden locked away from the world — is a classic tale, Anosh Irani’s compelling Bombay Black offers the concept through new light. Irani’s plot is not so much a linear tale as it is an unfolding of the intersecting life paths of these three characters. [A] lyrical, humorous, and somber work.” — SAD Mag

“This is one of the most harrowing, unsettling, and mesmerizing plays I’ve ever seen. Ten hours after leaving the theatre, I’m still shaken by what acclaimed playwright Anosh Irani weaves in Bombay Black’s dense 75 minutes.” — Andrea Werner, Georgia Straight

“Intrigue, betrayal, love, and seduction. This month’s most riveting watch on Mumbai’s theatre circuit is Bombay Black.” — ELLE

 

PRAISE FOR THE MATKA KING

“Anosh Irani has crafted a story as black and seductive as a desert night.” — Globe and Mail

“Excellent characterization and humor bring [this] cruel drama to life.” — Vancouver Sun

“Raunchy yet elegant . . . An engaging exploration of the darker side of human nature.” — Westender

“Top Rani's desire to understand his sexuality is very powerful. And this is perhaps where east meets west in Irani's intriguing play.” — Vancouver Courier

“Top Rani, in The Matka King, is a barker much like Celestin in Jerome: the top eunuch in a brothel in the red light district, he has girls to sell and bets to take. Throughout, the writing is deliciously biting and the exchanges very clever. Every line is an opportunity to comment and satirize while the images are vivid and unexpected. Despite (or because of) the humour and the harshness, we feel deeply for these characters.” — Canadian Literature

 

PRAISE FOR THE BOMBAY PLAYS: THE MATKA KING & BOMBAY BLACK

“At once poetic and theatrical, The Bombay Plays pulse with grit, humour and despair. Anosh Irani makes an astonishing debut with these two plays. His voice is fierce, funny and wholly original.” — Governor General’s Literary Award Jury Citation


PRAISE FOR ANOSH IRANI AND THE PARCEL

Finalist, Governor General’s Literary Award

Finalist, Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

Finalist, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Longlist, DSC Prize For South Asian Literature

A Globe And Mail Best Book Of The Year

A Quill & Quire Best Book Of The Year

A National Post Best Book Of The Year

A CBC Best Book Of The Year

A Walrus Best Book Of The Year

?

“Part of the way this excellent book heals such a sprawling, horrifying reality is with beauty . . . With the hijras, the parcels, the eyes, arms and power of a moody deity, one looks at the strange only to discover unity.” — Globe and Mail

“Irani takes readers into the depths of Mumbai’s teeming Kamathipura district, whose economy depends on prostitution bordering on slavery . . . Sounds grim, but Irani’s ear is attuned to the raucous humour of the sex workers as they do what they can to maintain their dignity. A harsh dose of reality administered with wit and clarity.” — NOW Magazine

The Parcel showcases the perceptive acid-streaked sensibility that distinguishes Irani’s novels and plays. But though Irani makes the hell of slums visceral on his pages, he offers here the ways feral compassion can turn to grace.” — National Post