Bumtown | Sisters GrimmBumtown is described as ‘an epic trash musical devised by two trash-talking homos on a kamikaze mission to take out Australian Theatre’. The program is a stained, screwed-up piece of hand-written photo-copied trash, the set is a toxic waste site slash haven for the homeless and down-trodden, the band is a bunch of bins, sticks and imaginative sound-making ‘stuff’ and the script, plot, songs, lyrics and characters are equally dissonant.

Sisters Grimm, the company behind it, is on to something. The show is certainly unique and has a strong sense of what it is and what it’s trying to achieve. The group has to be admired for attempting to break out of the mould, experiment with form and style and dare to be different.

The world is a target – the rich, the self-righteous, politics, capitalism and even ‘the musical’ as a genre. The actors are enthusiastic and good comic timing is occasionally shown by Amy Turton, Kelly Parry, Ash Flanders, Gillian Perry, Miles Rabies, Marc Testart, Bruce Carboon and Simon Morrison-Baldwin.

With a thin plot, which struggles to keep the audience’s interest, there are equally moments of intrigue, as one wonders how far the actors will go in repulsing, shocking, abusing and mocking us. Not far enough as far as I was concerned. It’s a tame version of what it could have been. An announcement, before the show begins, warns of swearing, nudity and even sex. It didn’t really happen, but even when it tried, it fizzled rather than sizzled.

Bumtown
is a brave attempt to shake up the status quo of what people think, feel and far-too-readily accept, disguised as a fun, generally upbeat musical, but coming across like a cheap university revue, doesn’t do the show or company any favours. With a tighter script, cleaner direction, a more audience-inclusive performance (allowing us to hear all the words and understand what’s going on), this company, producing musicals of this nature, has the potential to excite a far wider audience and do exactly what it aims to do in ‘taking out Australian Theatre’. Good luck to them.


Sisters Grimm present
bUMTOWN

Venue: Mechanic’s Institute P.A.C. | Cnr Sydney Rd & Glenlyon Rd Brunswick
Dates: 1 –17 November
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $14 student & concession /$18 adult
Bookings: (03) 9388 1942
Visit: www.sistersgrimm.com.au

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