REVIEW - CUT SNAKE


Bondi Pavilion, March 13. Until March 23.

Mad as the proverbial? Not in a threatening sense. But this intimately staged, circus-skilled production is certainly one of the more eccentric works you’ll see this year.

Kevin Keirnan-Molloy and Catherine Davies (pic by John Feely)

Co-written by Amelia Evans and Dan Giovannoni (who wrote the touching Wrecking, which played at the Old Fitzroy last year), Cut Snake twists three lives – one of them tragically short - into a whimsical Mobius strip of a play exploring friendship, loss and remembrance.

Kiki, Jumper and Bob are childhood friends. Kiki (Catherine Davies) and Jumper (Kevin Kiernan-Molloy) yearn for adventure. She wants to be a performer, fall in love with a bearded lady and climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a band of gypsies. 

Jumper wants to see the world, too, and aged 19, he embarks on a boozy tour of “EuropeAsia” which comes to a premature end when the trajectories of a stray dog and a Contiki tour bus intersect on a mountain road in Croatia.

And Bob (Julia Billington)? He seems too rational a chap to be going anywhere unusual, though in the end, his journey is by far the most unusual.

Informed by the skills of her cast, Paige Rattray’s production takes an inventively physical approach to relating a kooky story that also features a jealous snake called Trix, time travel, and a wrestling match between a hippo and a horse. Appropriately, Ross Graham’s design turns the Bondi Pavilion theatre into a kiddie cubby house made of old bedsheets and bunting.  

There comes a point when all the tumbling, face-pulling and acrobatics begins to overwhelm Cut Snake’s potential for poignancy but even so, it’s hard not to be won over by a piece of theatre broadcasting so much energy and optimism.

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