Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director; produced playwright (21 plays). Scripts pub. Currency Press. She worked as actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate was Head of Drama/Teacher, NMIT; Coordinator of Prof. Writing/ Editing, Swinburne Uni. Read her reviews here or: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Wednesday, 26 March 2003
Picking Up Daisies & Plucking Out Pubic Hairs, March 26, 2003
Daisies and Plucking Out Pubic Hairs By Ian Selvarajoo
Melbourne Comedy Festival
Mama, March 26 to April 13, 2003
Picking Up Daisies and
Plucking Out Pubic Hairs is a rough, rowdy play about two men and a dead body.
Correction - apparently dead body.
It is a black comedy
about brothers, Burt (Damien Richardson) and Draven (Michael Burkett) trying to dispose of the body of a schoolgirl (Geire Kami) Burt hit with his car outside his front
door. Writer, Ian
Selvarajoo, creates enormous problems for this pair of rough-head buffoons. How
doe Burt clean the blood stained floor?
What does Draven
cope with the hidden body falling out of the closet? Do they call an ambulance
when she moans and twitches? But their major
problem is with Ishikawa, (Adam
Cass) a childhood friend with a
nasty disposition. He was to provide
them with a body bag but they reneged on the deal and Ishi is not happy. In
fact, Ishi is violent and psychopathic.
Burkett make a delightful double act of boofhead clowns. There is menace in big
Burt's treatment of his little brother and yet they always seem loving.
Richardson plays the
thuggish Burt with relish. His comic timing is impeccable. Burkett plays Draven
as a frustratingly fey and intermittently poetic dill. As Ishikawa, Cass
finds a mad Mafioso style that works in part.
Hanrahan, maintains a cracking pace and elevates the sense of urgency and
danger on the stage. The energy is almost hysterical at the opening as Burt
tries to clean his already filthy flat.
This is the first of
the La Mama Comedy Festival season. It is not all laughs because Selvarajoo intercuts
the comedy with some rather scary and all too real violence. The narrative moves
quickly like a Fawlty Towers plot in which the incompetent protagonists make
bizarre and maddening choices.
The play falters
sometimes. Selvarajoo's dialogue is sometimes out of character for Draven. The
scene breaks are awkward and the violence becomes difficult to watch toward the
end. We hope the knife is
Picking Up Daisies
and Plucking Out Pubic Hairs is just what the title indicates: rude, rough, funny