Holden Street Theatres – The Arch, Tue 8 Mar
Mutts is a play for everyone, but dog people will be especially touched by this heart-filled tale of adult canines living out their days in a local shelter, sharing their stories with one another and hoping to be rescued, lest they be taken on ‘the long walk’ from which shelter dogs never return.
As we enter, the cast are already onstage, in character, scratching, playing, rolling around, chewing at toys, etc. It’s as though we have found the dogs in their pens; a nice touch. Once the audience has settled, a music cue begins the action, and we are introduced to the group through new arrival, Red, a cattle dog who is afraid of cows but not very persuasive with sheep either. Not quite comprehending what has happened, Red becomes agitated, and the others calm him down to explain that his master isn’t coming back for him.
Before long the dogs are vying for the attention of visitors, engaging in witty repartee, sharing their stories and cursing the puppies out back who inevitably draw the attention of potential adopters. On the male side, mouthy Socks is the rabble-rouser, always stirring up the others and teasing convicted leg-magnet Measles, while elder alpha Titan is the quiet authority figure. The females include the younger runaway Molly, flirty Meg, funny Peppa and one-eared Jude who is older and increasingly resigned to not finding a new home.
Tightened up from last year’s hour and forty with interval to a lean, interval-free hour, Mutts moves along nicely and features some emotional character work when Titan and Jude are paired up for a late-night heart-to-heart. Proceeds are being shared with SA Dog Rescue, and this dogs’ tale will have you giving your buddy extra cuddles and treats, or perhaps giving an older dog a closer look.
Mutts by Johnny Grim continues at Holden Street Theatres – The Arch from 9pm until Sun 13 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 and adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.