Homo Habilis: Man Good With His Hands
written and performed by
Artword Theatre, March 19-April 4, 1998
Characterized by the author as "a post-modern pre-historic neo-primitive deconstruction of the Oedipus myth", Homo Habilis is a careening ride through the lesser-known byways of history and myth presented by the oddest raconteur imaginable: Kelm in a bizarre getup designed by Ken Garnhum featuring twig antlers, a lion's tail, and rubber-glove loincloth.
Kelm takes a fresh look at the myth with donut shop philosophy, taking swings at Freud's Oedipus complex, religion and the government of Mike Harris along the way. Through references to human evolution and his personal experience coming of age as a gay man, he presents a fresh take on the story that is provocative, witty and insightful.
". . . raises conversation to dramatic heights through the intensity of ideas and Kelm's riveting delivery", San Francisco Examiner
". . . Exhilarating, suggestive and allusive, Homo Habilis exhibits dizzying dexerity. NNNN", Jon Kaplan, NOW
Part One of Kelm's Genus Homo trilogy, Homo Habilis is also similar in style to Kelm's widely known one-man show Black Bride, which was received with critical acclaim both here in Toronto and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1995. The Scotsman called it a "tour de force".
Directed by Andy McKim, Homo Habilis is a co-production by Artword Theatre in association with WormWood Productions, a new production company headed up by Kelm, fellow performance artist Matthew Simmons, and writer/broadcaster, Robert Tomas. Artword Theatre has been presenting a wide range of theatre, music, dance and multi-media performances for five years in its theatre space at 81 Portland Street.