Monday, November 16, 2015

THE WORF REVUE - The Wedding of Galdalf the Grey and Albus Dumbledore

Written and directed by John Lombard.

Presented by the Inglorious Lombasterds

Teatro Vivaldi  13.11.2015

Reviewed by Bill Stephens

Written and directed by John Lombard, and performed by the Inglorious Lombasterds,   “The Worf Revue” was an exuberant, nerdy, often very funny, one-night-only presentation, obviously inspired by the Wharf Revue, but with none of the sophistication, polish or production values of that show.

Consisting of a succession of short comedy sketches, all written by Lombard, who also compered the show in the guise of an alter-ego, Worf, “The Worf Revue” mined video games, social media, self-help books, movies and even couple of well-known musicals to make points about current concerns and issues.

At this stage Lombard is a better writer than he is a director. His writing is engaging and his ability to quickly grab audience interest with witty dialogue was perhaps best displayed in two excellent monologues – one in which Ms Pac-Man  (Barbi Jones) resorts to eating as a solution to eating problems,  and a running lecture in which a green-painted Wicked Witch, (Jess Waterhouse, in perhaps the best performance of the night) cleverly turns a disingenuous lecture about the science of magnetism into an affecting disclosure of her own relationship dilemma.

Elsewhere, sketches which contained interesting ideas faltered from the absence of a strong punchline, or from lack of focus, poor line delivery or attention to detail, particularly evident in the well-written “Lord of the Rings” finale sketch where wardrobe malfunctions with poorly attached beards for both Gandalf (Patrick Galen-Mules) and Dumbledore (Lachy Agett), caused fatal distractions from any inherent gay marriage comment, but proved hugely entertaining for the audience.

The Inglorious Lombasterds is an ad hoc group of performers, who come together specifically for the purpose of performing Lombard’s works. While their enthusiasm is undoubted and admirable, their theatrical skills vary widely, and as a result,  at this performance there were an inordinate number of flying props which, in the intimate surrounds of Teatro Vivaldi, posed a real danger for unsuspecting audience members, and once or twice, fellow actors.

As well as Jones, Waterhouse, Galen-Mules, and Agett, Zoe Swan, Hugh Witton, Annie Roberts, Saffron Dudgeon, Darcy Stanford and Brendan Mattress all made strong contributions to the hilarity, ensuring a hugely enjoyable evening of coarse acting and clever satirical writing.