Surrey actor stars in Fringe play ‘Meat Loaf Jesus’

SURREY — A 23-year-old Surrey actor is taking his first leading role in a Fringe Festival production that’s taking off today (Thursday, Sept. 4) in Vancouver.

Tarun Keram will be playing the leading role of Mark in Meat Loaf Jesus, originally written as a one-person play and set in Edmonton.

"It’s my first professional play," Keram said of his new role, noting that he had always been interested in video and film.

"We had a video and film class in high school and I kind of tinkered with the cameras and stuff and I thought, ‘Hey, this would be cool.’ In grade 12, I finally took a drama class and after that I just went into film school."

Keram, who graduated in 2009 from Tamanawis Secondary School, took classes at Vancouver Film School and caught the attention of instructor David C. Jones, who is the director of Meat Loaf Jesus.

"I helped out (Jones) last year and I just did a small cameo in one of his shows, and then he contacted me a few months ago and said, ‘Hey, do you want to stretch out your legs and do a lead,’ and I said, ‘OK sure,’" Keram said.

The 40-minute play is one of few GLBT productions happening as part of Vancouver Fringe Festival, and deals with coming-of-age themes of homosexuality, religion and a little bit of classic rock. Hint: that’s the "Meat Loaf" aspect.

"It’s a story about three kids who are young. They’re full of fun, full of rage, full of mischief but they all come from very abusive backgrounds but they all have a slightly different situation," Jones explained.

"But they all kind of bonded together and they try their best to help each other."

Keram, who plays the younger version of Mark, said the story was initially a lot to take on, but he’s grateful to use his acting chops.

"It was overwhelming at first," the actor admitted, "just because I’m playing a gay character and I’m not gay, so that’s one of the things I had to get out of the way right away."

Jones said that although he believes in the process of auditioning and casting, he called on Keram because he had the right stuff for the leading role.

"Tarun had the right sort of sensitive nature which alludes to, it doesn’t say it outright, but alludes to that father figure being quite abusive," Jones said.

"It has made the child quite shy and quite scared and again that whole sweetness of Tarun made me think, ‘I think he can probably do that.’ He’s not a loud, in your face kind of person. I thought he’d fit."

Meanwhile, Keram is doing his best in the role, despite differences that he may have with the character.

"I’m just treating it like any other play; I’m just playing a role," he said. "That’s my job as an actor. I think a lot of people would kill to take this role, someone who’s quite opposite from you."

Meat Loaf Jesus starts Thursday, Sept. 4 and runs until Sept. 14 at Vancouver’s Studio 16. Tickets are $14 and can be purchased at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

Quarantined Surrey mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Cloverdale’s Christine Williamson shares her family’s challenges, strengths

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

No, Delta police are not pulling over cars to check for social distancing

DPD dispelling rumour cops pulling over vehicles with two or more people, checking IDs, issuing fines

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Most Read