Let Dinki Die
Camp trench cabaret needs a rewrite
This article is from 2016.
The WWI centenary has inevitably proved to be creative fodder for theatre-makers – and a comedic angle was never going to be off limits. After all, one of the best series of the BBC's Blackadder was based on the Western Front.
But this light-hearted take on the war by Australian company My Ugly Brother doesn't quite gel. It was always going to be a hard sell – a camp cabaret in the trenches.
Dinki, a gay Aussie soldier, finds himself alone in his foxhole having been deserted by his platoon and, in particular, his favourite soldier, Wilson. So he busies himself tidying up, writing letters and trying to ignore the headless corpse he shares the space with.
As Dinki starts to lose his mind, events take a turn for the unusual: he designs a flag and declares himself queen. His descent into madness has potential but, in its current form, the elements are too random to be believable, and there's a desperate need for a narrative through line. It's poignant and performed with chutzpah, with Vince Milesi's Dinki a likeable chap, but a rewrite seems needed.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 29 Aug, 10.45pm, £10.