45 pages
ISBN 0-88754-547-5
DDC C812'.54




Reviewed by Tamara Jones

Tamara Jones, a former production stage manager/operations supervisor in
the Entertainment Department of Paramount Canada’s Wonderland, has
relocated to Burlington, Vermont.


Blowfish brings us into the world of Lumiere, both a caterer and the
protagonist in his own life story. Under the pretext of providing an
actual catered meal for the audience, Lumiere serves up various
“courses” of his past through what is primarily a monologue. As
host, he states his desire to nourish the mind and soul, to tell stories
that will entertain and enlighten, and to have his audience observe and
witness. Thus begins the oddly compelling journey with what playwright
John Murrell calls in his introduction “a quintessentially Canadian
character,” the person whose “coolness, formality, reserve, and
conservatism” suppress and hide his deeper needs and passions.

Thiessen has cleverly created a piece that in performance casts the
audience as characters in Lumiere’s final drama. Although unable to
partake in its theatrical component, the reader is drawn in by the
playwright’s storytelling and wordplay. Thiessen’s craftsmanship is
evident in the way that Lumiere weaves throughout his narratives the
story of a disturbing relationship between death and food. The play’s
title provides clues about the nature of this relationship: improperly
prepared blowfish can be a lethal delivery.


Thiessen, Vern., “Blowfish,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,