Last Night Things Happened
Macabre tales excite but lack fluidity
This article is from 2009.
The Underbelly’s low ceilinged Belly Button venue is an ideal setting for SUDS’ twisted, at times macabre tale of a boy’s journey home. The audience is greeted by the rhythmic sharpening of knives as the central character – ‘Boy’ – wakes up in a human abattoir and encounters several eccentric characters on his travels, from a husband and wife fused at the chest to a literal ‘character assassin’ and a violent mime.
It’s a bit Wizard of Oz and a little Roald Dahl, and through the many twists and turns of Christopher Harrison’s narrative, there’s evidence of a great imagination at work and a powerful storytelling talent. What’s more, the cast easily switches between their many roles and Beth Cannon in particular excels as the wheezy, repulsive Fat Man, who is forced to overeat to avoid being carried away by a magic balloon.
Yet, amidst this engaging eccentricity, there’s a lack of fluidity about the production that undermines the story’s potential. And while the twist at the end is clever, a more cohesive middle would ensure it is truly shocking.
Underbelly, 08445 458 252, until 22 Aug (not 17), 1.45pm, £6.50–£10 (£8–£9).