In the intimate space of the the Owl and Cat Theatre, Unmasking Prince Charming commenced with a welcome to all attending this “art therapy session”. Seth Drury introduced himself and explained his counsellor had suggested the art therapy as a way to deal with his OCDPCD – or Obsessive Compulsive Disney Prince Charming Disorder. For his turn in the therapy program, Drury had chosen to do a cabaret show.
From the onset it seemed Drury had a number of good friends/loyal fans in the front row who roared with applause. It didn’t take long before the entire audience joined in. The laughs came early in the show and continued throughout, but with enough story telling to make this more than a mere comedy routine.
Suitably dressed in a Prince Charming costume, Drury looked every bit the Prince Charming character. In the background was a draped stand with Disney Prince dolls on display. Initially from the audience, they all looked the same, but Drury introduced us to each doll by name and character and how they intertwined with his life. Although it would help to know your Disney Prince Charming characters (I am sure quite a few people in the audience were initially wondering who Prince Phillip is in the Disney franchise) Drury explained their identities along the way.
The result is a hilarious show that had the entire audience engaged and connected to the story throughout. At one point in the show, an audience member uttered a verbal “uh-oh” in anticipation of what was about to happen next. Drury, completely unphased, responded to the remark like a seasoned performer and the moment made for an even greater connection with his audience.
Drury’s insight into how normal Prince Charming behaviour is not actually considered appropriate in everyday life had the audience in fits of laughter. Drury’s comedic timing was impeccable. Subtle changes in portrayal of “Seth the participant in therapy” to “Prince Charming” were well managed and served to build the story in preparation for the final climax.
Songs were interspersed through the show, allowing Drury to showcase his excellent vocal talent and proving he not only looks like Prince Charming, but he also sounds like Prince Charming. Drury’s diction was clear and ensured not a single line was missed.
I hope this show has a life beyond the Melbourne Fringe Festival. It’s cleverly written and thoroughly entertaining – the sort of show you walk out of the door saying, “Wow, that was excellent!” Definitely worth seeing.