Anton’s Uncles @ Bedlam Theatre

Article by Antony Sammeroff | 26 Aug 2011

Fiendishly entertaining, Anton’s Uncles is a play about mediocrity that is in no way mediocre.

The show begins with the cast rhythmically building the set by moving the furniture rhythmically in pace to a drum-and-bass infused track packing Arabic singing to the punch. It’s the simple things in life.

These four tea-cup-and-spoon wielding male counterparts to Charlie’s Angels meld movement and straight theatre with a certain physicality that fluctuates between sharp, abrupt, angular motion and elegant dance. The dialogue of the piece is loosely based on Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya and spoken with a farcical delivery style which goes beyond melodrama. It fluctuates in style analogously to the motions, with some lines delivered straight as a board, and others imbued with fiery passion.

Every so often the vaguely understandable narrative is broken down and decorated with random dance asides, noticeably every time someone mentions that they are leaving the room. Sometimes the stage manager even involves himself in these dances. The musical accompaniments to these fleeting frolics ranges from 20s trad-jazz to more contemporary tones, some even accompanied live on acoustic guitar by one of the cast.

Los Angeles-based Theatre Movement Bazaar, who last appeared at The Fringe around ten years ago, really triumph with this surrealistic piece. The unexpected quirks draw tremendous laughs.

7-27th August 2011 @ Bedlam Theatre