By Malthouse Theatre.
Furious Mattress is a fun example of the Family Comedy genre made popular by such Hollywood laff-fests as Uncle Buck, What About Bob? and The Exorcist. In these tales the comfortable domestic sphere of an ordinary family is sent spinning by the arrival of a wacky outsider who teaches everyone a lesson about life, love and the true meaning of family. Sometimes among the laughs there’s a more affecting moment or two in which a character discovers resources within themselves they never suspected of existing. Or, in the case of Furious Mattress, a giant rat crawls out of their nether regions and does unspeakable things to a man in shorty-shorts.
This is the kind of play that shows how funny violent and drawn-out manslaughter based on true events can really be. Reactions to this production have so far spanned the spectrum from WTF? to WTF? and I suppose my response is somewhere in the middle there. It’s definitely a confusing work of theatre, but I honestly think it’s a confused work, too.