Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Fair Bum Clench

I should start another blog. One where I get to write drunken drivel like the three posts below, and another that is just about theatre.

Until then, here's this below. It's my current Drum Media review of a really ordinary play. Actually it was a pretty damned terrible play. How do these things make it to the stage?

I could have gone into more detail if I had more column space but I didn't and this was all I could dash off last minute Sunday night. On the other hand this reviewer had considerably more space to go into detail. I'm not sure which review is funnier.


Few things give me as much pleasure as plays that make me gush with enthusiasm. I love writing reviews where I get to say things like you should go see it because I laughed so hard my bottom almost fell off.

Unfortunately this is not one of those reviews. The only falling my bottom threatened to do was falling asleep... only it was too busy clenching to fall asleep, which is the bottom’s version of grimacing.

My Fair Lawyer is old school farce. Mistaken identities, overheard conversations, buffoonery at every convoluted plot turn, that sort of thing. That kind of stuff can be a hoot when in the hands of old masters like novelists Evelyn Waugh or P.G. Wodehouse, but in the hands of lesser mortals it can make your bottom cranky.

Henry Crowley is lawyer who just wants to read the newspaper. His wife wants them to bonk more often. A new psychiatrist opens shop. Someone claiming to be Henry’s illegitimate daughter turns up and the whole sorry mess just kind of wobbles about for the next hour or so while your bottom keeps asking if you can sneak out yet. “Not yet, Bottom,” you tell your bottom because having a conversation with your bottom is a bit more amusing than what is going on onstage. Your bottom pouts, so you say, “Look, at least it’s a short play, which is about the most positive thing I’m going to be able to say in the review. Now be quiet because people are starting to give us strange looks.”

Even the most outlandish and coincidence-driven farce can work if it pulls you into its own reality. It also helps if the jokes are funny. Fail on these two counts and you have a play that isn’t very good. The acting was competent, it’s just that the characters were shockers and some of the lines embarrassingly bad.

Having said all of that, some people like this kind of thing. Apparently My Fair Lawyer has been filling The Tap Gallery theatre for a couple of weeks now, and although the audience was half capacity on my night of attendance, lots of mostly older folks’ bottoms were indeed falling all the way off. So maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe this is actually good comedy. And maybe I will be a fairy princess when I grow up.

Tap Gallery until 3 June.


Kathryn said...

I like the convo with your bottom.

I take it this doesn't happen frequently and as a result of a bad play it was nice to get in touch with him again?

Or erm...uh, maybe not.

Funny. :)

Kathryn said...

By the way, I used to read Drum Media, too. The free street stuff is the best.

Quick said...

It doesn't happen very often, no. In fact this could have been a first. And Drum Media is the best of the local free stuff, in my opinion.

Nicholas Pickard said...

Now I know where the press release came from!

Quick said...

Yes, not hard to put two and two together. I thought you would have received it.

Margarita Milonguita said...

I hope you've unclenched your bum cheeks by now.
Good review by the way.