Friday, October 1, 2010

Review: Madeleine Tucker's Unfashionable Windcheater Factory


By Madeleine Tucker. Season ended.

I went along to this one after its producer mentioned that I had seen two of Madeleine Tucker's previous shows and had liked them. It turned out that I had and I had. I'm glad I went to this because I liked it too.

The earlier shows featured Madeleine Tucker as one third of the trio A Lot of Bread, who made hyper-whimsical comedies with cardboard sets and naff props and often lollies – almost unbearably twee but in a way I found very enjoyable. I thought this might be Madeleine Tucker's solo show but it turns out to that she just enlisted three different people to work with and has inexplicably put her name in the title. I don't know what happened to the rest of A Lot of Bread. Maybe they maintained a refusal to include Madeleine Tucker's name in the show titles and she wasn't having any of it.

See, what I love here is that anybody who doesn't know Madeleine Tucker isn't going to see the show just because her name is in the title, but it's in there anyway! And nothing else in the title actually appears in the show! And if you're offended by excessive use of exclamation marks, look out buster! This show is one big exclamation mark!

Madeleine Tucker plays Rodney the goblin. Rodney meets a fridge and a zucchini and a bunch of other characters. They do stuff and sometimes don't do other stuff. When Rodney goes to bed he cheers “Come on, sleep!” I laughed at that. Late in the show a very funny video is played based around the toy dinosaur paralympics. I laughed at that too. And the fridge's child (and child and child's child) were inspired, but obviously none of this is going to translate as particularly funny if you weren't at the show.

There's a particular genre of whimsical comedy that had an upsurge a few years ago, with comics like Josie Long at the forefront, but A Lot of Bread (and this show) seem to occupy a slightly different niche. It's a bit like a children's show turned up to a manic level – it occupies the same dayglo surreal-lite world and the performances are similarly exaggerated, even patronising of their audience, as if we're all a bit underdeveloped, but with no qualms introducing more adult jokes into the mix (and the bloody murder of a surgeon in this show was laugh-out-loud because of the surprising inventiveness of the way it was staged.)

Anyway, that's all! Good job, Madeleine Tucker!

No comments: