Ok, let’s get something straight, just because you are attending a Fringe show, in a tent, on stools, with a cup of beer in your hand, doesn’t give you license to leave your theatre etiquette at the last bar you stumbled from! I really felt for these young but accomplished performers last night while attending Play Time by Back Door Productions. Having to navigate the obvious full voiced chatter, they handled this with professionalism and focused all attention to those appreciating this hard working team. Congratulations.
Play Time is The Wiggles meets Hi-5 meets Play School meets adult.com! In the words of the producers, it’s interactive, introspective and idiotic – and yes it really is all that.
This original musical is having its World Premiere at FringeWorld 2018 and judging by the number of audience on this Tuesday night 10pm timeslot (let’s face it – that’s not the easiest gig to fill!), the team should be pretty darn pleased.
Aforementioned chatterers aside, the audience were having a ball. You can’t help but join the cast and revisit memories of kids TV…….but presented in a very *cough* special way. I surely will not see Fat Cat and friends in the same light again! Even the sound technician was having quite a few LOL moments, which was great to witness.
Presenters Adam (Mark Retzlaff), Liz (Madeliene Shaw), Katie (Jocelyn Campbell) and Jake (Kier Shoosmith) take us on a 45 minute journey through all the things you were never taught as a kid. They are all established vocalists and have worked hard on the well-rehearsed harmonies with defined characterisations struggling with their ‘demons’.
Shoosmith’s, campy, alcohol reliant Jake, has great comic timing and gives very good ‘bitch-face’. Shaw’s control freak, anxious Liz has some fine moments especially with her break down song ‘I’m Fine’. Campbell has some genuinely funny moments through Katie’s journey of self-discovery, which can be summed up in 3 words – hand held mirror! And straight boy Adam (Retzlaff) commands the interactive song ‘Unpopular Opinions’ as he ambushes unsuspecting audience members.
Being a World Premiere there is always room for improvement, and Play Time could do with some script work revision. It can be repetitive in places and does lack a little comedic sophistication in its humour and delivery, with a few gags falling flat. And the frenetic chaos occasionally overrides comedic delivery. But with some tight reworking, these criticisms can be developed into producing a multi-layered, hilarious, organised clever romp.
Play Time closes tonight. 10pm The Black Flamingo, The Pleasure Garden, Russell Square, Northbridge TICKETS
Photos: Michelle Shoosmith