Skip to content


The Nose
Published on Saturday, 27 August 2011

4 stars

theSpaces on North Bridge (venue website)
15-20, 22-27 Aug, 7:05pm-7:55pm
Reviewed by Eve Nicol

 Parental Guidance. Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

Kovalyov's nose is running - right out the door. This is the level of humour you get with Fat Git's adaptation of Gogol's short story about a man who wakes up one morning without a nose. It's silly, and wonderfully so.

Accompanied throughout by two guitars and an accordion, the live music is a real joy, adding a zippy sense of pace and cartoon-like humour to the action. The instruments were played excellently but it was the resourcefulness of the musicians that really made the score sparkle. A typewriter becomes an orchestra in itself, and rustling papers make a great underscore for the clerical newspaper offices.

The costume is simple, evocative with excellent attention to detail. The billowing scarves of townspeople on a windy bridge, or the cleric with his hands tied with official-looking ribbon, add great texture to the story.

There are some truly lovely visual images to take in. A bucketful of spongy red clown noses bouncing gently across the white stage is simply wonderful. The huge papier mâché runaway nose could do with a little TLC though, and looks rather messy in this otherwise carefully constructed piece.

It is an excellently crafted adaptation that abstracts conventions of performance confidently. It is rightly absurd and played with full conviction by the entire, talented cast. However, with such an awareness being paid to the systematising of performance, it is frustrating when patterns of entering the space are not consistent amongst the company.

But to pay too much attention to the generally-admirable construction of the piece would be a disservice to its overall joyously daft tone. It takes a while to get into the Fat Git groove, but when you do, it's a brilliantly fun, energetic and enjoyable ride. 

<< Coal Head, Toadstool Mout...   Devil in the Detail >>