The Erpingham Camp
theSpace on Niddry St
From 03 August 2012 to 25 August 2012
Review by Seth Ewin
Orton's play is relatively simple affair, it's a farce in a holiday camp with a plot lifted straight from Euripides' Bacchae. Staging this dark comedy for a theatre company should be as easy as boiling an egg for a cook. Eggs are easily overdone and so was the comedy in this piece.
For a situation to descend into disorder and disaster there needs to be a calm before the storm. The show started with such a silly tone, people running around Benny Hill-style and with the associated seaside postcard smuttiness, that the tone was already lowered.
Sam Adamson was a convincing weasel-like Erpingham, but many of the other cast members were way too over the top. The characters need to be believable and the play definitely needs some naturalism and low key calm to begin with.
The pivotal moment when the entertainment show descends into chaos looked completely unchoregraphed and lacked any real punch. Kenny (Jack Riddiford) who becomes this Dionysian figure shouted a bit but otherwise the character didn't really make any impact or show much change over the play.
The Padre (Daniel Chrisostomou) failed to grasp that a pervert is far creepier if they don't spend their whole time acitvely groping people and maybe try to convey their warped intentions in more subtle ways. There was so much groping one just became completely immune to it.
The overdone egg simile is perhaps a little too subtle; this was Orton's delicacy reduced to a large pile of ham.