Friday, 28 March 1997

King of Fools by Russell Fletcher March 28, 1997

Melbourne Comedy Festival 1997
Melbourne Town Hall until April 20, 1997

Reviewed by Kate Herbert around March 28, 1997

The Award-winning King of Fools by Russell Fletcher has all the elements of a great film noir movie – with great jokes.   

There is a company takeover, a bunch of mysterious deaths and a hero. Re-take. Anti-hero called Roger King. He's a sappy architect who has designed a chicken-shaped soup vat. Poor old Rog. First he loses his dad then his company, his job, his gal and finally, his miserable life. Loser!

There's a baddie, Spinalzo, who is a wheelchair ridden cross between Peter Lorre and Davros from Dr. Who.  An even more insidious baddie, Ken Leech, represents our whole Casino-boss conglomerate rolled into one smug tycoon. And then there is the ghost of Hamlet's - sorry Roger's - father who was pushed from Prince's Bridge.

It's fabulous to see a really slick, funny and theatrical solo show and King of Fools is the big one so far this Comedy Festival. It stands out among all the stand-up.

Fletcher peoples the stage with archetypal characters and broad caricatures. He utilises detective novel self-narration in the style of Raymond Chandler to tell Roger's desperate loser's story.

He works on an empty stage with no props, dressed in a Roger David suit but his swift and inventive scene changes, snappy, on -stage character transformations demonstrate a phenomenal theatrical skill and impeccable comic timing. Fletcher leaves himself space to improvise and play a little,  which is one of his strengths.

This is a delightful meeting of comedy, theatricality and a sharp, intelligent script. It attacks the privatisation of trams, corporations, Casinos, and bad Leagues Club comics. His Scottish comedian is a riot.

See this!


No comments:

Post a Comment