Of Dysentery and Madness: A Trapper’s Tale
Tiprat Theatre @ The Tuxedo Cat – Green Room
7:15pm, Sun 17 Mar 2013
As my arse thuds into the familiar Green Room seats one last time, I clearly remember feeling a sense of relief. This is it, I tell myself: the last show of the year. The last time you have to make your brain sponge-like so you can write stuff about it (much, much) later. But also the last time (for a month or two) that you’ll see someone Create in front of you… and that’s a little bit sad.
I’m here because of Will Greenway, one half of The Lounge Room Confabulators: I’ll happily see anything those lads are in. And this tale that he has written is, as with the Confabulators, charmingly absurd… and tinged with sadness.
Trapper is in the Antarctic; the rest of his party (Vic and Jemima) have disappeared. Isolated in his snow-swept hut, he drifts in and out of consciousness; he has visions of Vic and Jemima returning, but he also has repeat visitors to his mind… most notably, Caryn the Penguin.
Flip-flopping between Trapper’s tenuous mental states, Of Dysentery and Madness is a thoroughly odd experience: Trapper may physically torture himself, then flashback to a chat with Vic and Jemima, they’ll sing a quiet folky song, then Caryn will appear and mock Trapper. It’s all remarkably gentle and charming… and confusing. But in a good way.
I leave with a smile on my face… sure, some of that comes from the sense of relief, now tangibly physical. But a lot of it is because Of Dysentery and Madness was genuinely entertaining: quirky, funny, and engaging. A great book-end for the year.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 17, 2013