FOR ONCE I DON’t KNOW WHAT TO SAY

02/03/2010 at 8:42 pm Leave a comment

The Fabulous Punch & Judy Show
presented by the Cafe Debris Company and Tamarama Rock Surfers
at The Old Fitzroy Hotel until March 6th

I’m actually lost for words. (ok that passed)

Part drag show, part strip show, this all-offensive human puppet musical reads like an expression of theatrical tourette’s syndrome. It’s determined to be disgusting.

Just in time for Mardi Gras, there’s a bevy of cross-dressing school students, strippers and other studly stereotypes to stare at. Amidst all this is Punch, remodeled as the archetypical Aussie breeder; complete with domestic violence, latent homosexuality, leering pedophilia and a complete lack of self-awareness. The protagonist’s behaviour is so horrible to watch you start to wonder whether the joke’s on you, me, or the doorman. One could be forgiven for thinking the whole thing is an anti-hetero-hate-piece (although the venom is squarely directed at men only), but I doubt this is the intent. It’s just too extreme to be believed.

Reinventing the puppet show for live theatre is a too-rarely used form of slapstick, and with some fine-tuning this could become a grotesque cabaret classic. As it stands, the performances are a little underdone for the format (I would have liked to see them go even more over the top to match the content); but that’s just me. The cast are definitely having fun, so it’s not too much of a stretch to grin along with them. Just don’t bring your grandmother.

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Entry filed under: Inside Theatre REVIEWS, Sydney THEATRE.

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VICTOR SANCZ vassanc [AT] gmail.com

since 2009

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