This rendition of The Farce of Sodom, most likely written by the infamous Earl of Rochester in the late 17th century, excites very little movement of the loins. The play is about the fictional Kingdom of Sodom, under the leadership of King Bolloxinion. The King's erotic agenda involves legalising sodomy for the preservation of his female subjects' genitalia. This drives everyone crazy. The women turn to, ahem, 'unnatural' means of pleasure, and the men over-indulge in buttocks. The city is doomed.
Unfortunately, despite all the tits (we don't actually see any tits), this play fails to titilate. The company attacks its farcical elements with relish. There is some funny dildo play, for example. But I felt that they got distracted by inventing ways to represent sex onstage without showing any rude bits. And lost is any trace of the play's original function as political allegory.
In The Farce of Sodom, Rochester comments on the ridiculously debaucherous court of Charles II and his tolerance of Catholicism. Catholicism was buggery as far as post-Restoration Protestants were concerned. If you're going to revive this play, surely it's worth retaining in some way what little subtlety it has!
The caberet-style songs are baffling. I mean, I get that caberet is supposed to be sexy – what with the frilly knickers and garters and such – but it's all just thrown together. The dance numbers don't compute, and while some of the singing is good, it is all too much. This show makes love like a jackrabbit. Not fun.
I think the The Farce of Sodom is a great choice for the Fringe, but I would have liked seeing it put on with some more original concepts behind.
Aleela Creatives presents
THE FARCE OF SODOM OR THE QUINTESSENCE OF DEBAUCHERY
Venue: Holden Street Theatres - The Arch | 34 Holden St, Hindmarsh
Dates: Feb 28 – March 17, 2012
Tickets: $20.00 – $10.00