Reviewed by Valerie Cardinal
Around the Fringe Park, Jem Rolls’s posters stand out because they’re simple; big black text on a white background that grabs your attention because that’s all there is to it. In the same way, Jem Rolls’s show, Jem Rolls IS PISSED OFF, is minimalistic. It’s just a man in front of you, combining storytelling with poetry to tell you about what makes him so pissed off.
However, the recently-engaged Jem Rolls had no real reason to be pissed off while writing the show and the funniest part of Jem Rolls IS PISSED OFF is his explanation of how he tried to work himself up with multiple pots of strong, black coffee and eventually television. Once he did think about it, there was quite a bit in the world to piss off Jem Rolls – technology, tourists, himself and more. The highlight is the poem about annoying tourists, which is worth seeing and hearing for yourself.
This one-man show is a dream for slam poetry enthusiasts. Even if you zone out mid-poem, Jem Rolls’s rhythm keeps you hypnotized. The man is charismatic and energetic and makes you listen to him as he strides across the stage and spouts anger in verse form. I did find the flow a little choppy. If you’re a fan of rhythm-heavy, rant-like poetry, this one’s for you. This isn't a laugh-till-you-cry kind of show, but Jem Roll's witty wordplay will make you chuckle.