If you look at the acting resume of Byron Haigh, there’s a common theme amongst the characters he has chosen to play.
On that resume, you will see Macbeth, a tortured individual with misguided ambition. You’ll also see Eddie from “Fool for Love,” who expresses his torture through dark humor, a man trapped in a seedy hotel room in an even seedier relationship.
And now, you will see the tortured Jackie, the protagonist from Stephen Adly Giurgis’ 2011 dark comedy “The Motherfu**er with the Hat,” now running at the Mojo Theatre in San Francisco through Feb. 10th.
The darkly comic play follows a group of AA members and their attempts to get on with their lives after a series of prison stints. There is mistrust, infidelity and plenty on the caper side, as Jackie works to find out who owns the hat that was left in his girlfriend’s apartment.
Haigh, who is also producer of the show, is sharply aware of the struggles that Jackie goes through, and has found a strong parallel in the form of Ulysses, the Greek hero who spent 20 years away from his wife Penelope and ultimately reunites with her after proving his love once again.
“Jackie really goes through a struggle,” said Haigh. “He really changes from being an eternal youth to a man during the play.”
Haigh also has an additional piece to figure in when it comes to prepping is character, and that is dealing with Giurgis’ challenging and humorous text, with words in combinations that parallel the specific work of a great American playwright.
“This text is as difficult as David Mamet,” said Haigh. “I’ve done Shakespeare in the past, and 50 percent of this play has curse words – memorizing every single word is a tremendous ordeal.
“The whole play goes like a rap melody if rap could be written together. When I did reference for this character, I listened to Eminem and really found beauty of curse words in a piece of text.”
For Haigh, there are critical issues that this play brings forth, but what continues to shine through is the issue of growth and redemption. Jackie deserves a chance to make something of himself, and his journey just might get him there.
“He is a human being with a good soul, a good guy,” said Haigh. “He is a boy with the reality of manhood nearby.”
WHAT TO KNOW IF YOU GO
Four Lost Souls Productions presents “The Motherfu**er with the Hat”
Written by Stephen Adly Giurgis
Through Feb. 10th
2940 16th Street #217
San Francisco, CA
All tickets are $25
For tickets, visit the website