Queen Victoria's Secret Catalogue

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

After watching this wearisome time-travelling romp, you, too, might be left wanting a time machine, as it’s the only way you’ll be getting this hour of you life back.

The preposterous plot has a quartet of modern-day characters heading back to a ball at Windsor Castle, to determine who fathered Queen Victoria’s love child: Charles Dickens or, unlikely as it may seem, Oscar Wilde.

It is, in fact, very difficult to even tell the difference between the two, so shoddily are the characters drawn. Thank god they wear different coloured waistcoats, else we might never be able to tell them apart.

That is typical of the confusion that surrounds this jumbled offering, such an unfiltered stream of consciousness that it seems like the troupe all decided to go with the first ideas they came up with, then forgot to edit them into a coherent show.

But more crucially than a plot that gives you no incentive to follow it and shallow characters you couldn’t give two hoots about is the near-absence of jokes. Verbose monologues blunder around in the hope of stumbling into a point, presumably in the hope that longwinded, floral language is in itself funny. Indeed, it can be, but not here.

Pinnacles of wit include having a character called ‘Alopaecia’ or someone pretending to be Irish by putting on a stupid accent to say the word ‘potatoes’.

Redeeming features? Well, the law of averages means that there are one or two decent gags somewhere in the 60 minutes, and the cast seem engaging and enthusiastic. But they can do little with the crock they’ve been given to deliver.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Melbourne, April 2009

Review date: 1 Jan 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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