4 words: Hilarious, Jaw-dropping, Accomplished, Blistering
Pace! Do you need some in your life? It comes with a surreal script whose feats of literary gymnastics will leave you breathless, especially because they are delivered lightning fast. How fast you speak words and still render them distinct? That’s the kind of pace achieved by the four (4!) actors who drive the train that is Brian Parks’ Enterprise. They play four businessmen with a propensity for waxing lyrical, circuitous, and rapid. It’s like Mamet on six Jaegerbombs and half a tab of acid. In their skyrise office, our four protagonists are middle management middlers. Then the company’s stock starts to tailspin and they begin a desperate all-nighter to produce the goods that just might save it. There are extended riffs on competition, the free market, America, success, failure, meaninglessness and nihilism. And jokes. (“I’ll fall at 9.8 metres/second,” says a suicidal exec. “For god’s sake, don’t kill yourself in metric!” comes the reply). Coming at you like bullets, so fast it’s hard to keep up. The great feat of the actors is to maintain the sense of dialogue and communication while engaging in this heightened and relentless world. At times it is jaw-dropping. And very, very funny.
August 24-28, 13:35 @ Assembly George Square Studios
How to Win Against History
4 words: Camp, Riotous, Anarchic, Hysterical
Still need more pace (only this time in song form)? Do you like your comedy with Everest-level high camp? Maybe you woke up this morning and thought, “I need an injection of fabulous.” Look no further. Seiriol Davies’ musical-clown-cabaret retelling of the the story of Henry Cyril Paget, the cross-dressing 5th Marquess of Anglesey is your medicine. The Marquess was posh and fabbers at a time when one side of that equation was frowned upon. The show plots chapters of his life through song: Eton days, a marriage of convenience, and his quixotic attempts at a life on the stage. Davies is joined by the multi-roleing Matthew Blake and pianist Dylan Townley, and together the trio fly through the song-story, in an incessant and anarchic style of trash clown meta-theatre. This is a show so seeping with arch-irony that it doesn’t so much wink at the audience as take the audience across its knee and spank it with its tinted eyelashes. The style—at once casual and unrelenting—requires immense skill to pull off, and the trio here deliver a master class. And yet, as with other work which wears its irony on its sleeve, which indulges our contemporary and seemingly insatiable desire for meta-theatrical pretensions, moments of honesty are swept under the carpet. With a story this rich and relevant, a few moments of genuine honesty, reflection and poetry would ice the cake.
August 23-27, 19:25 @ Assembly George Square Gardens
– S. Levi