Toilet Fire is a ceremony and celebration of the one thing that unites us all: our need to go. Using the structure of an ancient religious ritual to talk about matters of digestion, philosophy and faith, Toilet Fire explodes with song, story, audience participation, and unexpected textual twists.
Written and performed by Eliza Bent
Featuring Brian Lawlor
Directed by Kevin Laibson
Assistant directed and stage managed by Nic Adams
Design by Christopher Bowswer
Written and performed by Eliza Bent, TOILET FIRE is a ceremony and celebration of the one thing that unites us all: our need to go. Using the structure of an ancient religious ritual to talk about matters of digestion, philosophy, and faith, TOILET FIRE unfolds like a mass in which Bent embodies a number of different lay people and clergy people, leading audiences through a scatological liturgy that begins with an incantation and is followed by holy readings and a series of “conflushions.” The various characters Bent plays meditate on their relationship to “the gorde our gog” and divulge digestive misadventures in an attempt to seek relief. Interacting with these various characters is an accompanist, who plays the piano and sings church standards that are part of the ritual. Toward the end of the service Bent invites the audience to say hello to one another, offering peace sings and partaking in chocolate babka—as a kind of communion. Toward the end Bent "breaks" character and explores why digestion, shame and religious identify are deeply interwoven, inviting the audience to pray together. The final song, “City of God,” no longer uses the cheeky scatalogical substituions that previous songs did. This moment of music is intended to provide gathered parishioners with a shared feeling of grace.
The play’s outer layer is one of great irreverence but at its core TOILET FIRE attempts to offer catharsis. The audience expects to laugh at sophmoric scatalogical jokes (and they do) but they also experience an emotional journey about healing together.
We are living in end times. This is a show called TOILET FIRE. I believe this is show is relevant and necessary because we need to make spaces where people can gather to laugh and cry together. I know from past iterations of this show that TOILET FIRE -- against all odds -- does just that.