Persephone’s Wolf (FringeTIX)
Bambina Borracha Productions @ Fringe Factory (The Tea Room)
6:00pm, Fri 22 Feb 2008
Believe it or not, when scheduling shows I’ll make an attempt to “balance” days out, if only so I’m not trekking from one comedian to another. You know, mix it up a bit: a little theatre, some dance, some standup, some music; some giggles, some brain-fodder. And I really thought I had this day nailed: installation art piece, light comedy (in Librarian Idol), some music (in the wonderful The Neo), and this show – Persephone’s Wolf was going to be my “serious” show of the day.
Now, I’ll concede that, after The Smile Off Your Face, I lingered around people with a drink in my hand and an empty stomach a little too long. To wit, I may have been a little bit tipsy. But I was so unbelievably, flat-out, abso-fucking-lutely wrong about the “seriousness” of Persephone that it knocked me for six.
I’ll also admit that, walking into The Tea Room with two musicians playing stereotypical bush music (as per every school production set in The Bush), I was a little concerned. And it took at least five minutes for the story to really get going. But when it did pick up steam, it barreled along with a tale of cross-species-but-not-really love and treachery and passion and medical experiments and singing and sex and… oh wait, there was more than one of those tales, and…
Bugger it. Suffice to say that Persephone’s Wolf is an utterly nutball absurdist comedy, and one of the few shows I’ve actually cried at. Tears of laughter streamed down my cheeks for the last ten minutes of the show, which I bloody hate because it obscures the view. And I loved the look of the production; from the simple costumes to the gorgeous all-cardboard props.
Now – it’s not perfect; Little Buddy Valentine, the young mermaid (wonderfully played by Anya Pouchanski, amongst a solid (and huge!) cast playing for laughs), could’ve had far more impact with the timing of her outrageously cute fishy gulps. But that doesn’t stop this show from being one of the truly enjoyable gems of the last couple of years – fresh, original, and perfectly aware of its own ludicrousness.
And read the Director’s Notes – the fact that they cut a character called Helen the Slutty Bean Bag leads me to believe that there’s a lot more laughs in store from Bambina Borracha.