This latest La Boite Indie production is a 2-hander variety show – Tribute of Sorts – styled to children (in alphabetical order) who have died in weird and unexpected ways. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a deep and disturbing show. Dark – yes, but morbid – no.
Two professional actors perform as amateur (but dedicated to their craft) teens; Cousins Ivan Plank (played brilliantly by Dash Kruck), who performs for the love of art, and Juniper Plank (played beautifully by Emily Curtin) for the art of love (as incestuous as that might be).
Kruck and Curtin co-devised this irreverent and ridiculously funny piece with Director Benjamin Schostakowski, and it is in the precise execution of the roles that this madcap ride is saved from potential derailing in several places. It is this precarious balance on the edge of silliness, sadness, and gore that makes t
he piece so excitingly unpredictable and thoroughly engaging to watch.
Kruck with his comic timing and adorability, and Emily with her quirky bitter-sweetness really have the audience in their hands for the entire time and there is no need or want for an extended cast, or interval.
A deceptively simple and claustrophobic set that looks both like a puppet show and a room in a doll’s house, is home to many props and set pieces that come in and out like a skit show on speed. It has all the right production values to easily tour.
Favourite part? The multi-media installation doll house puppet show. It was technically clever and inventive, yet disturbing. Most surprising moment? Exploding dolls.
The show first appeared in the World Theatre Festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse as a scratch work in development earlier this year. The play could benefit from a little more prudent editing but is still hilariously entertaining regardless and worth going along for the ride.