American Poodle *** (Fringe Factory until Sunday, March 16, 2008)

March 1, 2008

I am a fan of the many works Guy Masterson brings to the Adelaide Fringe but this show disappointed me on a number of counts.

Firstly, unlike other productions where focus is given to the artistic development of a theatrical base from where he launches his political barbs, this show lacks that development. The first act is a recital of history dates delivered at breakneck speed, punctuated with small digressions and caricatures of key historical figures, as we race through the history of Britain discovering, fighting for and losing control of the USA. In the second act, Masterson is the patronising American tourist/visitor, clomping his way around the quaint, historical country. There are many obvious observations and no real killer punches.

Secondly, it was sad to see such rich territory for satire and political savagery pass by without being plundered. Instead of Satire of Mass Destruction, we are treated to a highly-charged Grade Five project with occasional back handers.

For the best of Masterson this Fringe, I recommend Playing Burton and Goreing’s Defence, even Masterson’s reprise of Under Milkwood.

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