Holden Street Theatres – The Manse at Holden Street Theatres, Sun 25 Feb.
[THEATRE/COMEDY – SA]
The intimacy of Holden Street Theatres’ The Manse (reach out and you can almost touch the actors!) is a slightly scary place to be confronted by two beefy, bearded males who could quite conceivably once have been pirates. What they are now is two men trying to accommodate themselves in a world in which they unexpectedly find themselves, and are grappling to understand. Is it still OK to be a macho thug, or has piracy become a sanitised children’s fantasy?
Written by Emilie Collyer, directed by David McVicar and presented by Gobsmacked Theatre Company, this play sits at the quirky ‘have a go’ end of theatre that should be part of every Fringe. Joshua Mensch and Kyron Weetra give engaging and believable performances as Gareth and Shane, but the whackiness of the script at times leaves them floundering a little. There are good performances also from a plastic fish in a fish bowl and a robotic parrot called Dennis.
When we meet our pirates they are realising that to exist in the contemporary world they must make a lot of money quickly. Pirates are good at that! The obvious way to do this would seem to be by making a million on a TV game show. This idea is a little laboured and takes a while to unfold.
The play is interspersed with songs performed on acoustic guitar. These provide some nice relief from the action, but it is sometimes difficult to work out the relevance of the lyrics.
This is not belly laugh comedy. More a smile on the face as little rewards lurking below the surface of the surreal script float to the top.
Generously, every ticket earns a free can of Pirate Life beer. To be consumed, sadly, at a later date. There are no shambolic rollicking audience sing-alongs on offer here, perhaps an idea for another time. Meanwhile there is certainly fun to be had.
Once Were Pirates continues at Holden Street Theatres – The Manse at Holden Street Theatres at 6.30pm, until Sun 11 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.