This season is nearly sold out, and rightly so: this brilliant show by Anthony Crowley returns after first blasting onto stages in October 2016. This show has the makings of a cult classic indie musical, with its wild and wonderful story line, weird characters and sense of fun and light heartedness, Motor-mouth Loves-suck Face is back to charm audiences and dazzle with everything from zombies to a Bollywood diversion: there is seriously not a single element in this show not to love.
The show is the party to end all parties, where Blasko Tupper has kidnapped her entire school, in order for them to escape through a cosmic wormhole and save the planet along with the brain of Dr Pluto, who could have invented a solar panel to save them all from the impending doom…. But he didn’t, not in time. Complete with Motor-mouth and Suck-face, two geeks in lust who have till midnight to lose their virginity, but instead get swept up in saving the earth, parents who can transform people into mindless zombies, and a bunch of fiery, angry, individual teenagers, this party is about to blow. The world is about to end via solar flares, but that’s not important right now…
Having not seen the first run of the show in 2016, it’s hard to imagine it more perfectly wacky than it is, or a more perfectly cast set of actors. Sophie Smyth is the perfect combination of mania and intelligence as Blasko Tupper, and commands the stage from the moment she explodes onto it. Patrick Schnur opens the show boldly with ‘I’d Rather Be A Zombie’ and joins the band halfway through the show, proving to also be a talented cello player. Our titular characters Motor Mouth, played by Brenton Gardiner and Suck-face by Eliza Grundy, are nerdy, stand out icons, battling love triangles, zombies and to save the world. Danielle Matthews and Mark Jones make an enticing, almost sexy, dark pair of villainous parents, and the entire cast have stand out sung, dancing or spoken moments throughout the show.
Memorable songs include ‘Suck My Armageddon’, a ripper Spanish number and ‘I Want To Taste Your Fish Paste’, dominated by Isabella Ferrer, and a number of other songs that will make great audition songs or into piano bars in the future. They are all funny, relatable, and strong. The harmonies are great, and the small but brilliant band lead by Caleb Garfinkel perfectly compliment the un-micced but bold cast. There are only very few moments, in the more emotional, or lower range sung moments where the audience can’t hear the cast, but for a space with no microphones, the energy and levels perfectly light up the room.
Crowley has created a bold and beautiful show – from his writing, intelligent, bold and kind of corny, full of wit and puns, to his direction in making the show light, fast paced, and bouncy, with great use of the La Mama Courthouse space.
Lighting is used extremely well to transform the simple space, which is effectively used with a few great entrance and exit points and only a few set pieces. The few props used are well crafted and well used without being distracting, and are complete with neon lighting, working fairy lights and other elements that show how carefully and thoughtfully the show has been thought out, and the attention to detail in every element, even in such a barebones but effective set.
The show only needs a tiny bit more work, in that it can be quite hard to follow in the beginning but has all the elements of a thrilling move or TV show, where the longer you watch, more of the mysteries unravel, and it’s this confusion and element that give the show such a unique perspective, timeline and feel.
The storyline is downright wacky, the characters are all unique and stand out, though they could use a tiny bit more development or introduction, and no one is saying this is a dramatic, serious show – it is the perfect counter to Melbourne’s winter weather with belly aching laughter, toe-tapping, catching songs and all of Lygon Street behind the Courthouse to complete a brilliant outing to the theatre.
Need more convincing? One of the songs is available on iTunes, and I can’t wait to see a full cast recording to follow, for these catchy and intelligent tunes. Listen to ‘Heart Be A Radio’ here: https://itunes.apple.com/mt/album/heart-be-a-radio-feat-amy-jones-single/1148942501 and if you look hard, you’ll also find ‘My Polar Bear’ there too.
This show is ready to transfer to bigger stages, or hit the festival circuits, and I cannot wait to see where it ends up next. You’ve pretty much run out of opportunities to see this run of the amazing show, and I couldn’t be happier it’s happened to a show like this. Your best chances to get tickets are this Sunday 29th July and Friday 3rd August – tickets at https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=341734