Werewolf Priest (1.5 stars)
By Levon J Polinelli
Rabbithead (3 stars)
Little y Theatre Company and whatshesaid
The Blue Room
REVIEW David Zampatti
A few years ago the Blue Room went through a purple patch of domestic comedy/dramas by young, rising artists. House of Fun, Jack + Jill and, in particular, Pride, perfectly suited the precocious talents of their writers, directors and actors, and found inventive ways of saying something genuine about the lives of 20-somethings.
The devisers and performers Holly Garvey and Violette Ayad, working with director Ian Sinclair and Georgia King's Little y Theatre Company, have returned to that territory with Rabbithead, and it shares many of those earlier productions' strengths.
Nowhere more so than in its opening, a fluffy sequence with a twist in its neck that leaves housemates Holly and Violette (the characters keep the actors' names) with a problem that badly needs burying.
After all the early fun, and some snappy vamping - Garvey does a mean Ann- Margret (although she mightn't realise it) - things get a little dishevelled. It's not so much that the script gets silly as that it won't let the silliness go. So, for example, Violette's boyfriend Bottle-o Rob is a bit of a cockroach - well, no, he IS one - but the metaphors are carried a little too far, and get a little too convoluted. Eventually you get the feeling Sinclair, Garvey and Ayad know what's going on rather better than we do.
That's OK, though. Even if Rabbithead is a bit underformed, it's easy to enjoy Garvey and Ayad's talent and Tessa Darvey's fine, funny set and the zest of the whole exercise. It's already well worth a look, and I suspect will be even more so once its nuts and bolts get tightened.
The early show at the Blue Room, Levon J Polinelli's Werewolf Priest, in which the eponymous pastor of a small village (Sven Ironside) is both the perpetrator and victim of some lycanthropic shenanigans put to music, is emphatically not the next Rocky Horror Show.
The songs (composed by the busy Ash Gibson Greig) are all like minor ballads from Phantom of the Opera, and, apart from Magnus Danger Magnus' rollicking turn as a narcissistic, self-promoting explorer, and a zany splatter film ending, I'm afraid there isn't much to write home about.
Werewolf Priest runs until June 7. Rabbithead runs until June 14.