All hail the Power of Ignorance! 

‘Your brain cells are prison cells... Break free!’

What: The Power of Ignorance

Where: MY (Millennium) Place

When: Saturday, June 26

Tickets: $17 - $20

Taking the stage at MY Place next weekend will be a most enigmatic figure: Vaguen – Master Ignoramus, evangelist for the Power of Ignorance.

More accurately, taking the stage will be thirtysomething British expat actor Chris Gibbs, purveyor of a unique and hilarious one-man stage show that is part colossal joke, part biting satire of self-improvement gurus, and part legitimate philosophical conundrum. There’s more than a little Monty Python in this one-ring intellectual circus.

Pique Newsmagazine caught up with Gibbs – in Montreal for that city’s Fringe Theatre Festival – and he benevolently attempted to help us understand that which should never be understood.



PIQUE: What, exactly, is the "Power of Ignorance?" A philosophy? A creedo?

Chris Gibbs: What is the Power of Ignorance?

I don't know

But I know how to find out.

By using The Power of Ignorance.

In what way exactly?

I don't know.

But I know how to find out.

By using The Power of Ignorance.

PIQUE: If ignorance is bliss, has creating this show been a blissful experience for you?

CG: It was very exciting and fun.

I worked with theatre-machine TJ Dawe and we wrote the show together based on a short film by American Jeff Sumerel.

The writing was great. Obviously having another mind there is always exciting and surprising – you never know what they're going to come up with, and writing days can be like birthdays: will you get a nice present? What if it's something you don't like?

There was also another benefit to collaborating that I wasn't expecting. TJ was so much more accepting of some of my ideas than I am myself, so there are parts of the show that, even though I came up with them, I would never have kept if I'd written the show on my own. I'd have thought they were too silly.

PIQUE: What are some of the inspirations for Vaguen, Master Ignoramus. Any of your old college professors in the character?

CG: Initially, Vaguen was the character from the film that I mentioned before, a great parody of self-help gurus. But as I performed him more, and as we wrote more, other elements came out, some of them adding to his mask of confidence, and some of them underneath.

I found myself echoing Morpheus from the Matrix, being evasive and annoying for no reason other than that it makes me look clever. You know, there's no reason why Morpheus can't just tell Neo what the Matrix is. Sure it would be difficult to explain, but that doesn't mean you can't if you try: "the world you know is actually a computer reconstruction fed into your brain and your body is suspended in goo with wires coming out of it." There, I did it. None of this "no one can be told what the Matrix is." It's easy. And that's something I've added to the character based on annoying people I know too, people who nod sagely as if they know something, but really they don't.


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