[CHILDREN’S EVENTS/Comedy ~ WORLD PREMIERE ~ SA]
Theatre Two at The Parks Theatre, Sat 20 Feb.
Take a group of assorted folks with an interest in learning about acting, put them into a course run at The Parks Theatre, shake stir and mix a little and, evidently, out pops Slime Dusters! When I spent some time looking at the 2021 Fringe Guide, Mr 5 was quite clear that Slime Dusters was the show he was most interested in seeing – so they’ve done a great job in selecting a name and topic for a piece of children’s theatre. And it was clear from the full house that it was a popular choice.
Credit has to go to Director Michael Wilkop, (and, I suspect, acting teacher) who doubled up as ‘Slime Man’. To take an inexperienced cast and get them onto the stage and performing in just six weeks is a damn fine effort by all! The way the audience was engaged and led into clapping, cheering and interaction was superb. At the beginning of the performance, while changes were being made to the set, there was an audio dialogue from the sound room to and with the audience – it got them engaged and ready to be active participants.
The on-stage action combined farce, comedy, pantomime, video, audio cues and effects and spoofs on Ghost Busters – as you’d expect. And while the slime wasn’t real on the stage – there was a parting gift of a little slime for each child on the way out. Characters, while a tad superficial and stereotypical, were clear for the young audience to relate to, whether they were the children, mother and her friends, or the Slime Dusters team. Costumes suited to a tee.
It was a great piece for children and included some good training for an audience as to what being an active audience in a theatre might involve. The only downside is that after one full house, there are no repeat performances. Let’s hope they return next year with more fun and more shows.