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Suitcase Royale: Chronicles Of A Sleepless Moon
Sunshine Variety Couch
Super Great Comedy Good Show
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Suitcase Royale: Chronicles Of A Sleepless Moon
Something strange is happening atop Roogs Hill. A plan to go underground is afoot and all the cows in the district are dead!
A tale of dastardly deeds and unfathomable adventure - the Butcher and the Doctor are up to something and the Newsman sniffs a story that will take him deep into the dead heart of Australia. Deliciously dark, exquisitely crafted and hilariously told.
In Chronicles Of A Sleepless Moon, Suitcase Royale have produced a visually stunning show. What initially appears to be a stage full of clutter worthy of the Steptoesí junkyard after a particularly busy round emerges as an intricate set, with clever lighting and brilliant design bringing out all the scenery they need to portray their ambitious Edwardian-style melodrama.
It makes for a hugely atmospheric production, with a rich, distinctive feel that permeates the entire show. The attention to detail and mood is incredible.
But while itís impossible not to be wowed by the craftsmanship, laughs are a little harder to find. You might be forgiven a wry smile at the trioís inventiveness when they play out a linking scene in shadow puppets, or ham it up to add to the sense of overblown drama, but itís almost never laugh-aloud hilarious.
The preposterous stuff-and-nonsense revolves around a bizarre contraption: a tunnelling device that runs off blood. Itís the gruesome brainchild of the sinister Doctor, who forms an unholy alliance with the murderous Butcher to help source the fuel. But they must also avoid the prying eyes of the Newsman, alerted to a potential scoop by they mysterious disappearance of the cattle in this remote country town. The bizarre plot is somewhere between Frankenstein and Sweeney Todd, but set in Australiaís pioneer days.
Joseph O'Farrell, Miles O'Neill and Glen Walton play everything out in over-earnest seriousness, which unfortunately tends to stifle the comedy rather than enhance it. This is most certainly not played for over-the-top laughs, as they instead stick close to the literary genre they are parodying.
In fact, so much attention has been lavished on authenticity, that somewhere along the line, the gags have been forgotten, with one or two occasions notable exceptions when a genuinely funny line does emerge. If they could find a stronger scriptwriter to harness their impressive inventiveness, Suitcase Royale would be the full package.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
This show is absolutely amazing! The sheer inventiveness of the set and the undeniable talent and charisma of it's performers make it a must see! Just go!