Set on the eve of federation, the still current fears of colonial Australia are writ large in this play within a play within a play. The Malthouse Theatre
, led by director Michael Kantor
, revels in the so-bad-its-good gaudiness of pantomime with this latest production of Babes In The Wood
, written by Tom Wright. Babes In The Wood
is presented with all the absurd enthusiasm and boundless vigour expected of a tweenie at a boy band appearance.
this play is the story of a cheap, somewhat desperate, vaudevillian
troop touring the Australian countryside, performing a rousing
pantomime, which espouses the wonders of this great land and its noble
white tribe. Peppered with references to our current political climate,
it is also a sharp satire aimed at empirialism, war, historical
revisionism, world leadership, terrorism, celebrity and more!
is a gloriously coarse and vulgar production, which hurtles at full
speed from beginning to end. The company of peerformers, led by the now
iconic Max Gillies
, is a spectacularly cohesive and vigorous one. I cant honestly single out any one performer as they were all sublime.
Designer and Lighting designer Anna Tregloan
and Paul Jackson
, respectively, once again achieve spectacular and creative results. Costumes are alive with detailed character and quirky humour, and I especially enjoyed the nasty kangaroo. These two designers don't seem to ever get it wrong, fantastic. There is also some delightfully awkward choreography from Kate Denborough
, perhaps channelling the dubious spirit of 80s disco.
Singing and dancing their way through an eccentric score from Iain Grandage
, incuding an array of cheesy hits (think Air Supply
) and original Eddie Perfect
songs, the cast of Babes In The Wood
generously present the audience with an evening of outrageous, intelligent, tasteless and uproarious theatre. All the while peering into our own national heritage, to both embrace and revile it. Asking the question, is our colonial history far enough in the past for us to be able to honestly say, to coin a phrase, its behind you!?
Babes In The Wood
is at its best when it is so thoroughly bad its terrific. Venue:
Merlyn Theatre, CUB Malthouse Season Details:
November 16 – December 2 2006 Previews:
Thursday 16 November & Friday 17 November 8pm Opening:
Saturday 18 November 8.00pm Performance Times:
Tuesdays 6.30pm, Wednesdays to Saturdays 8.00pm, Sunday 5.30pm
Matinee – Thursday 23 November 1pm, Saturday 25 November & 2 December 2.00pm. Tickets:
$15 - $45 + booking fee Bookings:
Malthouse Box Office 9685 5111 | www.malthousetheatre.com.au