30 September 2011

FRINGE review: X

Terrible Comfort and Barking Spider Visual Theatre
27 September 2011
Lithuanian Club, Son of Loft
to 8 October

When a narrator has a swirly red skirt that I covet and fur the exact purple that I've been trying to dye my hair, I know I'm in safe hands.

Puppet-friendly companies Terrible Comfort and Barking Spider lashed themselves to the same mast to ride out the not-so-perfect storm of developing a new show. X marks the spot and names this gorgeous (I mean terrifying) new romp.

Robert Reid's story is even more fun than his recent MTC show, especially because this one's full of pirate stereotypes that have been forced to walk the plank for being outdated and dull, and been replaced with a rollicking adventure that's simply the best pirate-seazombie-steampunk-robot-monster-ghost story ever.

The design is as lush as a posh opera's and the monsters (created by Sayraphim Lothian) are so gorgeous you'll want to take them home to cuddle.  I mean, Lily and Mike (and their companions Penelope Bartlau and David Rosenblatt) are brave and tough monsters who aren't at all cute and will haunt my nightmares.

And Danny Diesendorf and Hanna Camilleri will probably never want to be cast as anything other than pirates from now on.

X makes the tiny Son of Loft room feel bigger than a galleon, so it HAS to move on to bigger theatres, but don't miss the fun of being so close that the temptation to reach out and pat tummies is almost irresistible.

Take your kids and your friend's kids and your friends.  This is theatre for children that lets children be smart and lets grown ups be kids.

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