‘Elephents’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by May 7, 2014

‘Elephents’ is a madcap, surreal soap opera for adults, written by Jeffrey Jay Fowler with the help of his award winning team of co-devisers Gita Bezard, Adriane Daff, Brent Hill and Kathryn Osborne. The songs have simple melodies, but with hilarious lyrics sung deliberately off key. The half-dozen songs were written by Jeffrey Jay Fowler and arranged by Brett Smith.

This 90-minute theatrical treasure is showing in the Blue Room Studio, James Street, Northbridge nightly at 8.30 pm, with performances until Sunday 18th May.

 

The walls and floor are black. To the left are a settee and a carpet, to the right are a piano and a grey zoo wall (Designer Tarryn Gill). Tarryn has also created delightful, funky headpieces with elephant ears and tusks. Her choice of wigs brought a smile for each character.

       Five heads pop up over the Tuskville Zoo wall. They are the last four elephants in the universe along with their tender, caring keeper, Annie (Gita Bezard). They sing of their happier days of ice-creams and peanuts, but now in their senior years there is just death ahead. Indeed, the older elephant, Carabooda (Brett Smith) dies. Broken hearted, Annie goes home for consolation from her husband, Harton (Jeffrey Jay Fowler).

     Harton, being a businessman, is obsessed with contracts and is far too busy renovating their house, choosing only the very best of materials irrespective of the cost. Annie explains to him that her beloved elephants are dying for the sake of a few dollars donation, but with all the warmth of a polar bear’s bottom, Harton gives a heartless, unsympathetic remark before continuing with his home renovations.

     When Annie’s best friend Nellie (Adriane Daff) calls around, she tries to console the zookeeper, but Harton’s attitude drives her out of the house. Back at home, Nellie is being sung to by her musically untalented husband, Roger (Jeffrey Jay Fowler), when her gifted bachelor, brother in law, (Pete Townsend) calls. He is desperate for a girlfriend, and Nellie has just the friend for him.

     Will the elephants in the zoo be saved? Will the elephants in the room become clear to all?

 

This hilarious piece caricatures all the worst points of the people we know. Jeffrey Jay has given us the miser, the lousy lover, the over legislative, the self-righteous unfaithful partner. The politically incorrect script is delivered by the team with deadpan expressions and has the audience in fits of laughter throughout. Director, Kathryn Osborne has helped create several very different characters and brought them to life. Talented musician, Brett Smith, provides the musical accompaniment, ranging from the tinkle of a xylophone to the pounding of an electric guitar.

Lighting designer Chris Isaacs has come up with some clever and innovative uses of LED lights. Great atmospherics.

This show really has everything, singing, live music, a powerful message and oodles of very dry humour. The houses are packed out every night, so ensure that you book ahead. Jeffery Jay is one of the Blue Room’s most popular performers, and with a team of his talented friends is bound to have another major hit on his hands.

Try to grab a ticket for this unusual show that will have you chuckling days later.