The Not So Fatal Death Of Grandpa Fredo
Frenetically-paced Vox Motus show lets fly with the satirical dartboards
This article is from 2010.
The notion of faith – whether intractable or questioning – is a motif that gradually makes itself known as this amusing and rambunctious ragbag of a show proceeds through its tricksy, playful paces to its conclusion. Along the way there are gleeful satirical potshots taken in all directions. A backwoods American town, which is declared ‘shit’ in the first of many faux Country and Western songs, suffers the unique disadvantages of a recreational fishing town with no fish. This os due in no small part to a polluted river, courtesy of a Sarah Palin-like mayor who has an eye for the news camera (Imogen Toner). Local café owner and secret survivalist (Simon Donaldson) registers his concerns, while the sheriff (Harry Ward) fears for his job. The solution to the town’s problems lies with a utopian Norwegian oddball (Ewan Donald), who has cryogenically preserved his dead granddad. A snapshot of these characters gives you an idea of the satirical dartboards.
None of this, though, delivers a sense of the wild and freewheeling style of this Vox Motus production, which exists at a frenetic pace; jigging between bizarre sight gags, multimedia, puppetry and song, the piece fairly wedgies and gooses its audience through the twisted corridors of its story.
Amidst its well-delivered sweary ditties emerges the theme of how the media creates forms of seemingly unshakeable beliefs on the turn of a coin. Now if other satirical targets are so disparate they fail to fully come into focus – the energy of the piece largely overwhelms this flaw. In front of an ingenious multi-purpose shed, the ensemble is splendid, to the point where it would be invidious to pick out any individual. Put it on your festival ‘to-dos’.
Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, until 29 Aug (not 16, 23), times vary, £19–£17 (£12–£13).