Zombatland has a premise that toes the line of too good to be true. The Blue Lagoon Caravan Park has been taken over by zombie-wombats, the residents being gorily and horrifyingly picked off one by one until only Mayor Grogan and his cricketing legend brother, Darren remain to defend their territory. Enter characters like "the Stranger" with his zombat killing crumpet-gun and the leader of the zombats Chumba Wumba, and you've got a sure-fire audience thriller on your hands.
Creators of this sometimes absurd and at all times hilarious piece of theatre, ingenious trio The Suitcase Royale have been touring their brand of "junkyard" performance globally for a number of years. Resourcefulness is key to their pastiche shows; with sets made from trash collected off the streets, the play's music played live on stage throughout by the performers themselves and the mashed together forms of puppetry, comedy and horror coming together to make this energetic extravaganza.
If anything could be improved on a show that kept the audience raucously involved for over an hour, the script could possibly benefit from a touch of refining. There were some jokes which maybe have been funny at first inception when creating the show, but had been outgrown by the mammoth story and could be cut or tweaked. While parts of the dialogue were really clever others fell a little flat, which could have been accepted if only the potential for this show wasn't so great. With a bit of careful editing and audience monitoring, Zombatland would be absolutely perfect theatre.
The intricacy of the set and theatrical elements of the show is aided by the utter simplicity and ridiculousness of the premise. In Zombatland, The Suitcase Royale have fully committed to a tricked out show that will purely entertain and achieved that goal many times over.
The Suitcase Royale present
Venue: Visy Theatre | Brisbane Powerhouse QLD
Dates: 10 - 20 Oct 2012
Tickets: Adult $30 | Concession $26