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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Groggy Squirrel Review of Vigilantelope's "Tale of the Golden Lease"

2009 MICF Reviews

Tale of the Golden Lease

Fresh from the Monash Comedy Law Revues comes Vigilantelope (Vachel Spirason, Joel Tito, Nick Russell, Tim McDonald and Pat Miller) with their show Tale of the Golden Lease. It told the story of the dispute of Earth’s lease with Father Time and the ensuing journey of a courier and two humans through various dimensions to find the document before Satan’s minions.

Working with a bare stage, they made creative use of lighting and sound effects to transport the audience to the different locales in the play. In a similar act of economy, they kept the props and costuming basic, often using only a hat to switch between characters. The only costuming of some substance was the brilliant one used to portray Vishnu. This bare bones approach was a necessity as each of the five actors was required to play multiple wacky beings, so we weren’t left staring at a darkened stage for too long between scenes.

The script was punchy and crammed a lot of story into the hour. The characters were completely over the top and made use of plenty of witty wordplay, nonsensical concepts and surprising visual gags to keep the hilarity at a high level that never wavered. A number of clever pop culture references added to the fun and a subtext echoing the current financial climate made this a quite topical show in spite of the lashings of whimsy.

The team threw themselves around the stage with great enthusiasm and bounced off each other effortlessly. Their five years working together certainly showed as they pulled off an almost seamless performance which the audience lapped up.

There were a number of big musical numbers that were not only amusing in content but regularly featured a troop of dancers to add some zaniness. These background elements of humour were subtle enough not to take away from the song, they were little funny things occurring in the peripheral. Dancing featured heavily in the show not just as a way of jazzing things up, but as an interesting and surreal plot point. All five joined in on some tightly choreographed and hilarious routines, mugging the whole time.

The Tale of the Golden Lease was a brilliantly rollicking show that had the audience in hysterics. It proved that the University Revues are still a fertile ground for top comedic talent.

Visit the Comedy@Trades Website for booking details.