Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Epidamnus

The New Theatre's current production of "The Venetian Twins" by Nick Enright and Terence Clarke is a little bit classical, a little Broadway musical and a lot Christmas pantomime. I found it best to ignore the origins of the work in the Italian I due gemelli veneziani, and Plautus' Menaechmi, and instead enjoy it as a music hall romp.

Identical twin brothers cause confusion when they turn up in the same town. By the end (almost) everyone is reconciled and (almost) all the comical confusions are resolved.

The production has an excellent set and consumes evoking Italian commedia dell'arte. The acting is broad, with some bawdy humour. The songs are mostly good.

The band are excellent, belting out the tunes and timing with the actors perfectly. It is disappointing that we only ever get to see the band members as a shadow through the backcloth of the stage.

The actors had trouble being heard over the band and there may have been some technical problems with the sound system at last Saturday night's performance I attended.

Exactly where "Goondiwindi" (mentioned in some of the New Theatre material) fits into the plot I did not quite follow. Like many musical comedies, bits seemed to be borrowed from eclectic sources and it is best just to enjoy the fun and not try to follow the plot.

New Theatre's current production is on in Newtown, Sydney until 15 December 2012.

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