Let Dinky Die is an original and at times improvised, hilarious human face of the life of a soldier in the trenches in 1916.
My Ugly Brother productions, has soldier Dinky Die (Vince Milesi), put the ‘NNNNZ’ in ANZAC as he dances with death literally, in his foxhole at The Butterfly Club.
This parody of the absurdity of war is hysterical. Dinky Die interacts with his bayonet, dead body parts and dodges bullets. He intermittently converses with his adversary; Fritz, on the other side of ‘no-mans-land’ via his cheesy, German accent voiceover.
Dinky Die involves the audience in ‘call-outs’, sing-alongs and antidotes while he waits for reinforcement troupes, which may or may not arrive.
James Baker and Milesi collaborate to create compositions of Show tunes such as ‘Bye and Farewell’. Milesi performs the numbers in WW1 ‘entertaining the troupes’ style, complete with flamboyant arms, high kicks and chest thrusts of his bejewelled helmet.
Let Dinky Die is a fast paced fifty minutes of storytelling and amusing flits of jazz ballet moves around the dead corpse in his foxhole. Dinky reminisces about his days back home as a lad with his cobber’s and more great one-liners and a tune or two.
Dinky Die re-enacts a convincing event, portraying conversations with his aggressive drill Sergeant and I’m sure front row members of the audience can give testament of that. There are no untoward audience interactions though it is all-comical and good fun.
We are privy to the affects of war on the Aussie Digger. He lives on the edge of insanity. He has a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ moment with a headless corpse.
Correspondence with loved one’s back home was essential in keeping up morale in the trenches. At this point, there was a slight glitch in the performance.
A stool was absent for Milesi to sit on, to write his letter. Milesi, a true master of his craft, improvised and used a prop of a femur bone to sit on. An unpredictable joke was born from an adverse moment.
A ‘squeak-toy’ version of a carrier pigeon called Walter, was thrown into the foxhole. Dinky’s humorous method of insertion of the letter, for delivery, is priceless.
He relieves his boredom waiting in his foxhole, by playing another tune on a coincidentally placed piano accordion. This comic relief moment is accompanied with a quirky Dinky Die voiceover.
Vince Milesi’s wartime light comedy is a highly interactive jaunt. His send-up is reminiscent of a stand-up routine and lurid vaudeville performance.