Carl Hiaasen novel translated into slick madcap romp
This article is from 2008.
If redneck losers Chub and Bode are going to fund their confederate militia they need JoLayne's winning Lotto ticket. But nature-loving JoLayne (who happens to be black) needs it to save local woodland. The church needs her help to legitimise their phoney miracles and bored reporter Tom needs a story. Carl Hiaasen's novel, a cultural dissection of Grange, Florida, translates onto the stage as a madcap romp through conspiracy theories, double-dealings and divergent agendas against a backdrop of racial tension.
The physical elements are spot on. A vast swathe of society is evoked by eight accomplished actors who are constantly on stage. The slickly evocative staging is by turns simple, hi-tech and kitsch (a weeping Madonna), creating a backdrop for the actors to mime everything else into existence. The script, too, is on the money with laughs aplenty keeping the comic caper proceeding at a fair clip.
Any faults present are not with the experience of or enjoyment derived from the play but with the age-old problem of comedic polemics. A lampooning of the American right wing should be a cutting work of satire but the proseletysing is sacrificed to laughs, which makes for great entertainment but nothing you can get your teeth into.
Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 25 Aug (not 11), 2.15pm, £17.50–£20 (£15–£17.50).