Melbourne Fringe 2011


0 Comments 07 October 2011

Directed by Lynne Ellis and featuring emerging RMIT writers, performers and friends, Snatches is a production of short plays, readings, dance and standup comedy. Having little knowledge on the history of Snatches (which is in its 12th year, according to the program), I went into this performance with lower expectations. I was extremely surprised.

The first “snatch” (I assume), started in the foyer as the audience waited to enter the theatre. A woman dressed as a pirate shouted a monologue and guided the audience onto the ship (i.e., inside the theatre). The stage was decorated with a string of umbrellas hanging wall-to-wall and a bizarre squid-like object suspended over the stage. The lighting gave the theatre a noir-like atmosphere and set the scene for just over two-hours of short plays – all of them unusual, some serious, and most of them, hilariously funny.

Highlights included: Caitlin Crowley’s “The Spirit of Violet Crumble” where the theatre was transformed into a funeral procession, and the outrageous Violet Crumble (i.e., a bearded man, Jack McLardie, in a silk dress), commented on the funeral and insulted the audience members (or the mourners). This was followed by, Tony Avard’s “Reflections on a Train”, a dialogue between two ex-classmates that subtly examined male insecurities and the lasting impact of homophobia. Jemma van Loenen’s “Embrace” was one of the longer pieces in the production, which told the story of a socially inept man, Raymond, and his awkward romance with a woman who moves in next door; the quirky love story was narrated live and images were projected on the wall to support the story. PoisE’n, a sexually charged dance trio, were unexpected, but in retrospect seemed to compliment the absurdity of the overall production quite well.

Mick Mezza’s “Good Boys, Bad Boys” was perhaps the strongest piece in the production, a ridiculous cop drama that left many audience members laughing hysterically well after its conclusion. Overall, Snatches was a wonderfully absurd evening of short performance pieces.

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