Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Just Shocking! Andy Griffiths, Jan 4, 2012, ***

Just Shocking! 
Adapted by Lynne Ellis from Andy Griffiths' book
By The Just Andys 
Kaleide Theatre, RMIT, Swanston St., Jan 4 to 20, 2012, Mon to Fri,10.30am & 1pm 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert 

   (L-R) Tayla Gentle, Lily King, James Wray, Declan Kelly, Jack McLardie (photo by Marc Morel)

Prepare to be squirted with high-powered water pistols and assailed with vomit, breaking wind and dangerous antics in Just Shocking!, a theatrical adaptation of the sixth book in Andy Griffiths’ popular Just series.

Lynne Ellis’s production titillates the children with Griffiths’ wicked humour and delights in transgressing all rules of decorum and taste.

The cast of RMIT University students may have limited performance skills, but their commitment to the show and audience is unremitting.

The six actors swap roles, genders and ages, playing Just Andy, his friend Danny, and assorted adults, kids, aliens, robots, animals and…the list goes on.

Although the script is a bit wordy, characterisations sometimes clumsy and dialogue occasionally mumbled, the outrageousness of Griffiths’ naughty stories carries the show.

Kids will recognise tales including Lemonade Roulette, in which Andy and Danny shake a soft drink cans and wait for it to explode and I am a Robot sees Andy locked in a cupboard with a stroppy vacuum cleaner when he refuses to be a human boy.

The list of the best 101 extremely dangerous, shocking things for kids to do is a riot, although it carries on a bit long. Even running with scissors or picking your nose with a pencil while driving in a car seems tame compared with the more extreme activities.

The on-stage DJ’s turns the music up to 11 when the children are invited on stage to dance to Everybody’s In the House Tonight and they all go home happy – and wet from the water pistol canons.

by Kate Herbert

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