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Script - David Rabe
Company - EUTC
Directors - James `CJ' Carter-Johnson & Lydia Ziemke
Venue - Bedlam Theatre (0131 225 9893)
Dates - 16th-19th May, 7:30pm
Tickets - £4 (£3.50)
Running time - 3+ hours
Reviewer - Daniel Winterstein

With Hurlyburly, the Bedlam has again succeeded in giving us a polished and truly professional production. The cast and crew may be students, but the performance is first rate and cannot be faulted. Unfortunately, the play is terrible.

The play wants to be a savage satire of the Los Angeles lifestyle, such as Bret Easton Ellis's The Informers. It fails. Instead, David Rabe's script is a sub-Mamet mess that is as shallow as the characters it portrays. The production does it's best, but there isn't much it can do.

The first half hour is like a sitcom, but with irritating and unpleasant characters. It's entirely lacking in charm, however it is reasonably funny. Except then the jokes dry up, but the `comedy' goes on - and on. Three hours is a long time, especially for a play that consists almost entirely of the semi-coherent ramblings of some self-obsessed and not particularly interesting men (the female characters are insultingly one dimensional, and hardly have any lines). Over three hours; and about half a dozen half decent jokes. There are Shakespearean tragedies that are shorter, and have more laughs.

Anyway, my nature is too full of the milk of human kindness to dwell further on the script (also review swearing guidelines prohibit a truly accurate description). Instead, let's remember the excellent acting of Jerry Latter, Chris Perkin and Andy Crawford. They deserve better.

©DBW, 15th May 2001


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