Didn't Hurt
Written and Performed by Rodney Decroo
Tonic Records - Vancouver, BC
 http://rodneydecroo.com
V.9 - School of Contemporary Dancers 
A story about a tough upbringing, and how that played out, by Rodney Decroo (Stupid Boy in an Ugly Town). Directed and dramaturged by TJ Dawe (Medicine, Marathon, The Slipknot and more). “A creative powerhouse” - Canadian Beats "A heart wrenchingly rough coming-of-age story” - VUE Magazine “An unassuming yet mesmerizing performer” - Winnipeg Free Press "Few artists risk attempting it: turning something profoundly and deeply painful into a work of transformative beauty.” - Georgia Straight

   
Show Info:
75 Mins
Tickets: $12

Genre:
Storytelling

Audience:
Mature

Warnings: Coarse Language, Violent Content, Sexual Content

Accessibility: Low Vision / Blind
Thu July 18 8:45 PM*
*(2 for $12)
Fri July 19 5:15 PM
Sat July 20 5:15 PM
Sun July 21 3:30 PM
Mon July 22 3:15 PM
Wed July 24 7:00 PM
Fri July 26 12:00 PM
Sat July 27 8:45 PM

Didn’t Hurt

Tonic Records—School of Contemporary Dancers

The program describes this show as a story about a tough upbringing, but it is so much more than that. Certainly it is about the effects child abuse can have, and the child having to deal with that as their life goes on, but perhaps unintentionally it is also about toxic masculinity, how it spreads, and how children learn. This show very clearly spells out exactly how a parent’s actions can rub off on their child, and how the cycle has the potential to continue well into each generation.

The performer seemed to struggle to tell portions of his story, and while generally it is inadvisable to dive that deeply, he was able to hold himself together. Something that was outrageously brave, and incredible to watch. It could use some focus, as he often segued into a lecture more than storytelling. Both can be good, but as a performance they need to be distinct.

Arden Pruden


Didn’t Hurt

Tonic Records—School of Contemporary Dancers

The title comes from Rodney Decroo’s pseudo bravado to the beatings he experienced from his sadistic father as a child. This is a true story that demonstrates the pain that passes from one damaged generation to the next, causing hurt, unmet needs and feelings of inadequacy. False masculinity, defined as don’t start a fight but finish it, real men don’t show pain, deep emotion, or cry, taught him lessons that needed a lifetime of therapy to unlearn. His father was scarred from his time in Vietnam, as were far too many; and the brutality he unleashed upon his son would have been illegal in today’s, slightly more enlightened society. The damage he inflicted on his wife and family by his abuse and alcoholism, caused the unit to dissolve and scatter.

Rodney is a masterful and moving storyteller. His struggle to self acceptance is ongoing but he’s getting there. A touching note is that he was able to finally reconcile with his aging father, come to understand him better and to finally be thanked for his care and hear the magic words: ”I love you son.“ His mother’s story doesn’t end as well.

He spins off to another character, that of an extremely damaged street youth, which again shows the tragedy of abuse, the gift that keeps on taking. He had my heart held rapt from start to finish. I would highly recommend this serious piece to anybody, but if you struggle severely with PTSD, this might be a bit to close to home. Thoroughly from the heart and expertly done! Thank you!

Lisa Campbell