Rough House
created and performed by Andy Massingham

"This is physical theatre at its finest using the very simplest means to achieve one brilliant effect after another." – EYE Magazine

Winner of 2005 Dora Award for Outstanding Performance

- Nominated for Outstanding New Play and Best Production.

- Rough House on tour: Contact Kids' Entertainment for more information our touring production.

Recent dates: Two Showcase performances at IPAY, the International Performing Arts for Youth Conference, Cleveland, January 22, 2009.

Vancouver East Cultural Centre (February 26 – March 2, 2008); Toronto’s Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (April 8-20, 2008); the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse (April 23-24, 2008); SuperNova Festival in Halifax (May 2-4, 2008); Kitchener’s Theatre & Company (January 31 - February 4, 2007); Ottawa’s National Arts Centre (November 15-19 and December 5-16, 2006).

Rough House is a roller coaster of dance, slapstick and beautiful images, a comic yet wordless duet for performer and lighting designer in which light is an active character, both friend and foe of Andy's persona. As Andy becomes more challenged by the objects and images that surround him, surprising gestures and exacting physical movement tells the story of one man struggling with his imagination. A grown up experience, but suitable for children.

Rough House was commissioned by Nightswimming after Andy mentioned that he was interested in created a show using everything he had learned about slapstick, pratfalls and physical comedy. Andy had developed brief performances using some of this material at the Tarragon Theatre Spring Arts Fair, but now wanted to work on a full length piece that combined a growing interest in dance.

Andy was a member of the company that Nightswimming assembled to create our dance/theatre adaptation of The Whirlpool. Much of the work with choreographer Julia Sasso was instrumental in the process we used for Rough House. In fact, Julia has frequently joined the Rough House process to facilitate improvisational sessions and to offer her feedback as a dancer and choreographer.

Rough House was created largely through improvisation; most of it was created in the theatre with lighting designer Rebecca Picherack, who was asked to improvise alongside Andy. The result is a duet for performer and lighting designer, in which light is a character, both the friend and the foe of Andy's persona.

Listen to an interview with director Brian Quirt conducted by Peter Hinton, the Artistic Director
of the National Arts Centre: Hinterview Podcast.


Production History

Nightswimming, Toronto
January 4 to 16, 2005

Directed by Brian Quirt
Performed by Andy Massingham
Lighting Design by Rebecca Picherack & Michelle Ramsay
Stage Managed by Kathryn Westoll

Produced by Naomi Campbell

Dora Award for Outstanding Performance and Outstanding Lighting Design.

Dora Award nominations for Outstanding New Play, Production and Direction.

: please contact Producer Naomi Campbell at 416-703-5491 or ...

View Production photos...




Andy Massingham in Rough House
photo by John Lauener

"Beckett meets Buster makes magic."

"In his one man show Rough House, Andy Massingham taps into Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton. Using just a light bulb, bowl, chair and lighting, Massingham creates a series of funny, poignant and sometimes brilliant on-stage moments." Toronto Star

"What do you get when you have a lightbulb, a bowl, a chair and actor Andy Massingham? Great theatre! I haven't seen a better one man show in many moons. Go Now Fast!" –Jazz 91.1FM

"Lighting plays a key role in the hour long show, from the opening image of Massingham metamorphosing from a flowing shadow behind a white wall to a firm and sturdy person in front of it.

"That intant transformation from one state to another, from the intangibility of shadow to the three dimensional solidity of an object, is a token of the alluring charm of Rough House, directed with a playful, whimsical touch by Brian Quirt.

"The last moments, a magical shadow ride for chair, lightbulb and man, capture the cleverness of the show in miniature, leaving audiences absolutely still with wonder." – –NOW Magazine