CodPieces: Fatal Loins

Perry Pontac

Ham-a-Lot

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

From 10 August 2015 to 14 August 2015

Rating: **

Review by Graeme Strachan

Setting itself up as an old fashioned radio drama, complete with vintage style microphone props and a cast dressed in shirt tails and dresses, Codpieces: Fatal Loins is a comedy Shakespearian sequel purporting to show the events in Romeo and Juliet had the fatal lovers not taken their lives.

Playing out the events 20 years later, where Juliet has become a rotund baby-making machine and Romeo an uninterested spouse, the play takes some jolly liberties with the characters and style.

It's admirable that the company has chosen to perform entire pieces in Perry Pontac's faux-Shakepearian text and the sort of cross-dressing and mistaken identity gags that the Bard himself enjoyed. The trouble comes in that at least half of the cast sound like they genuinely have no idea what the words they read (for they read off scripts as suits the radio show style) actually mean, instead giving the impression that they are simply reading technical instructions.

The script, as said earlier, is amusing but in these hands the lengthy monologuing feels like it is taking the place of an actual story, and the addition of fairly pointless appearances by Paris and Rosaline earlier on, to no effect, merely make the whole seem like a jumbled mess.

A nice attempt, unfortunately fumbled.