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Devil in the Detail
Published on Friday, 26 August 2011

2 stars

Zoo Roxy (venue website)
5-9, 11-16, 18-29 Aug, 6:00pm-7:20pm
Reviewed by Carmel Doohan

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

A scolding landlady, her promiscuous daughter, a drug dealer and an idiot run in and out of rooms, forget their trousers and count their money. Carry-On style innuendo and cartoonish action provide the plot, making this dialogue-free farce feel something like a dumbed-down Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels enacted by Punch and Judy.

There is a nicely handled puppet snake, a well-designed set and a frantic pace that builds a kind of momentum, but the overall effect is repetitive. There is no shortage of energy here, but it is one that would be perhaps better suited for children's theatre.

The company's promotional material claims they to want to "create new work that appeals to a broad audience using all the tools that 21st Century theatre can offer"; but in trying to use every tool, they use none well.  The music is ill fitting, the movement is graceless, and the masks do nothing but hide the actors faces.  It is unclear what audience this is aimed at, but in trying to appeal to everyone they have produced something boringly derivative and bland.

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