Review: CUT SNAKE at Theatreworks

Comic, crazy, commendable tale in a three-actor circus

By Christine Moffat

If you know the phrase ‘mad as a cut snake’, you have an inkling of what to expect from this award-winning show by the two years-young theatre company Arthur.  The show is mad, but thanks to playwrights Amelia Evans and Dan Giovannoni, there is fabulous method to the madness.

Although the show is acrobatic and surreal, with all emotions heightened, there is a base note of reality running underneath.  Evans and Giovannoni examine the central themes of friendship, love, death and the small moments in a life that change the world.

Cut Snake

The play revolves around four zany characters, Trix the snake, Kiki Coriander (Catherine Davies), Bob (Julia Billington) and Jumper (Kevin Kiernan-Molloy), any of which could justify their own circus act.  Despite this, the actors beautifully construct relationships that are accessible, relatable and touchingly domestic.

The direction of by devisor Paige Rattray is a great lesson in ‘less is more’.  The show takes place in a small circus tent on astroturf.  The ‘rough around the edges’ appearance is actually great stagecraft.  The show feels roughened, not rough: worn-in like a favourite pair of jeans.  This made the audience immediately comfortable in the high-energy, crazy, tiny theatre space.

Cut Snake is a strange, moving, funny, high-energy bundle of love and loss with a dash of experimental physics thrown in for good measure.  If you’ve ever had a best friend, ever thought about science or magic or asked yourself “What if?” then you will find yourself entertained and a little bit happier for having seen it.  As a bonus you will also find the answer to the million-dollar question: who would win in a fight between a horse and a hippo?  That alone is worth the ticket price.

Date: 25 Feb 2013 – 09 Mar 2013

Time: March 2- March 9 at 7:00pm, 11:30am matinees Wed and Fri

Price: Student groups $20, adults $30, conc/non-student groups $25 (plus booking fee)

Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au

Location: Theatreworks, 14 Acland St, St Kilda

Please Note: This production is performed at an outdoor location near Theatre Works; meet in the foyer at least 15 minutes before performance commences.

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