Review by Stephen Porzio
As a film buff, but Dreamgun-virgin many fans of the live shows (recorded and uploaded later as podcasts) told me I would love it. Thankfully, they were not wrong.
The premise is simple. A group of upcoming comedians (Edwin Sammon, Erin McGathy and Hannah Mamalis to name some highlights) rewrite classic film scripts, pump them full of jokes and perform them unrehearsed in front of an audience. Each night of Fringe the group are working from a different movie in Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre. The night I saw the show, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, was the film being spoofed.
While the show could in lesser hands be self-indulgent, the joke success rate is incredibly high. The humour ranged from Airplane-esque one-liners – “Strychnine. Hell of a poison. Makes Strych 8 look like Strych 7”, jabs at the original’s dated dialogue – “If it doesn’t gel, it isn’t aspic. We all know what that means” and highlighting the social mores upon its release. In regards the latter, narrator for the evening Ronan Carey described in his incredible voice the reason why Hitchcock cut up the infamous shower scene: “The censors thought female nudity and violence together made you a communist.”
Even the big obvious gags – a violinist being brought out on stage for the central murder – are delivered with so much charm one can’t help but smiling. The charisma could also be why the moments when the comedians veered off script generated the biggest laughs, such as this unusual tangent about the Chuckle Brothers.
- “… God rest their beautiful souls
- Only one died!
- Yes, but the concept of the Chuckle Brothers died”
Meanwhile, there’s also some nice cineliterate gags for those well-acquainted with the movies being spoofed: “Who is in that Rear Window … Nice” or “Bates Motel, that got five seasons?”
While it may not be the most ground-breaking work playing at Dublin Fringe this year, it certainly must be one of the most fun. Tonight, the gang do The Matrix, Saturday is Titanic and Sunday is Spider-Man and Batman.