- Gareth K Vile
- 23 August 2018
This article is from 2018.
Leaping into the past for fun and frolics with the master of love
Towards the end of A Slightly Isolated Dog's zany production, the ensemble pause to question the philandering of their aristocratic hero. His adventures are exciting and he has that classic anti-hero sangfroid that attracts even as he is committing what is a series of sexual assaults and murders by contemporary standards: but is this suitable entertainment. Earlier, the trail of duels and seductions have been celebrated: as he is dragged to hell, the company are more ambivalent. Fortunately, this doesn't stop them from one last number, another pop song performed impeccably to cover up the immoral antics of Don Juan.
The show is relentless hilarity: the audience gets to join in, be characters or trees and even help with the spectacular seascape that reveals that this company are more than just whacky clowns. For the most part, this is unashamedly low-brow entertainment, toying with meta-theatre to implicate the audience, slipping between characters and revealing performed internal company tensions and histories to frame Don Juan's rampage across Europe. Larger than life, the show throws in brilliantly performed pop numbers whenever the story threatens to flag, gradually developing the episodes of Don Juan's life into a sustained chase.
Yet the company are smart enough to know that simple story-telling is not enough: a showcase for their abilities – getting the audience to actively participate, embodying the various victims, using a vibrant charisma to race the action along – it aims to entertain and throw in a little ethical awareness, without losing the fun and light touch that sustains their style.
Assembly Bubble, until 27 Aug, 1.10pm, £12 (£11)