Rhubarb Crumble runs at the Tiger Dublin Fringe until Saturday the 20th of Sept @ 8.30., Bewley’s Café Theatre.
Rhubarb Crumble charts the rise and fall and rise and fall again of children’s theatre company, the eponymous ‘Rhubarb Crumble’. Born out of desperation, five theatre graduates establish a children’s theatre company and embark on a hilarious journey of massive ego, intrigue, jealousy, lust, unrequited love, all culminating in a Broadway production of their Tarantino-esque version of Jack and the Beanstalk, with a quite literally, explosive ending.
A bare stage with clever lighting designed by Noel Hogan and use of sound effects and music by Jonathan Casey help tell the story in flashback and it is clear the improv comedians and actors are comfortable moving at break-neck pace from characterising regional audience members commenting on Rhubarb Crumble’s latest show to keen newbie actors vying for parts in auditions to two horrible old aunts in a pub scene so scathingly and deliciously observed, the reviewer didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The cast, Danny Kehoe, Graeme Singleton, Eoghan McLaughlin, Lisa Garvey, and Sharon Mannion play a host of innumerable characters with relish and aplomb, every nuance wickedly observed. Mathhew Ralli’s tight direction compliments the piece.
The cast in this ensemble show have an impressive comedy history behind them and this is evident in spades, especially in the musical numbers and set-pieces, and in plenty of snappy dialogue: ‘Are you looking for work?’ asks the Dole Official ‘I am always looking for ways to explore the human condition: yes’ replies the Company’s director, most of which had this reviewer , and the audience, laughing out loud.
Where the show falters slightly is in its meandering plot, with certain scenes not adding anything at all to the progression of the overall story, two talking mice for example are funny but irrelevant. A stronger hand may have been needed in editing the final draft. As ever with comedy, it can be subjective, the repeated references to a mysterious but brilliant actor called ‘Will’ (who cleverly never appears on stage bar as a voiceover) being alleged in reports of inappropriate behaviour with children left me cold.
Review by Ashley Delaney
Dublin Fringe, tickets cost €14/12.
Rhubarb Crumble runs at the Tiger Dublin Fringe until Saturday the 20th of Sept.