Wednesday 20 April 2011

Theatre Review: Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem

Editor's note: Brisbane's Anywhere Festival is looking for reviewers. Because of the style of review Tim wants to demonstrate he can write, he has written this as if he saw an early performance and you could still go see the show. He didn't and you can't.

I saw Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem on the last day of the Adelaide Fringe Festival, 2011. It was funny and strange and great. You should go see it. Tommy Brandson plays the audience like a violin virtuoso. Actually, it was a bit cruder than that. Tommy plays the audience like a banjo virtuoso. Even though he was wearing an eyepatch he produced more pathos with one eye than most people could with two. Or more.

The show is nominally a retelling of The Little Mermaid but I see it more as a collection of dark jokes and dirty, tragic songs. It is divided into two parts. In the first part Tommy plays a pirate; eyepatch, peg leg and all. In the second he plays the mermaid; fish tail'd and requiring frequent sprays of water from a mister. An audience member is enlisted to do the spraying. On a related note, theater goers that are adverse to a little audience participation should avoid sitting in the front row and in aisle seats.

The show was played in a tiny theater at the festival. It felt a little like seeing a performance in a shipping container, but I think the cramped conditions fit the mood of the piece. The musical ambiance was understated and effective, kudos to the two musicians.

Bonus Twitter version of the review:

"Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem" was funny and strange and great.
You should go see it. #AdlFringe #review

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