Here is the crit published in today’s (14 May 2011) Mercury. Not too bad at all. Well done Mick!
Larageddon (Uni Revue 2011)
Old Nick Theatre Company
Theatre Royal, May 13-28,
It’s been a big week for Lara Giddings. First there was all that work stuff. And now Old Nick are blaming her for the ending of the world.
First-time Revue director Mick Lowenstein hangs this year’s Uni Revue on an only-slightly tenuous notion that all the recent global natural disasters have coincided with Lara’s political career. An A-team, led by Will ‘the Hodgmanator’ Hodgman, is mobilised to save us all from Larageddon: The Ultimate Disaster.
Lowenstein structures Larageddon with a strong narrative through-line that’s more plot than theme, and the show hangs together well with still plenty of room for the familiar skit-based non sequitur sketches, jokes and songs. And there are the requisite groan-out-loud puns, running jokes, self-referential and meta comedy, nudie runs, cross-dressers, and North/South taunts and political and pop-culture references.
The humour’s sharp without cruelty, intelligent without weightiness, and, of course, bawdy without apology. It’s a script-based show – don’t expect flashy sets or huge song-and-dance numbers (though there are some middle-sized numbers, and the band, under Musical Director Craig Wood, contribute healthily) – and the writing is enjoyable.
Sophie Tyrrell (Lara) and assistant director Ben Paine (the Hodgmanator) deliver clean, confident performances with plenty of charm, leading a young ensemble cast whose zeal and sincerity make up for what’s occasionally lacking in polish.
I hope it brightened Lara’s weekend.