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Print Version

Auckland Fringe 2013
Written and performed by Yvette Parsons and Thomas Sainsbury
presented by Pandora Productions

at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
From 21 Feb 2013 to 23 Feb 2013

Reviewed by Heidi North-Bailey, 22 Feb 2013

I thought I was going to see a “demented horror comedy about two doll-collecting physic siblings”, but quickly realise the synopsis has changed since the programme was printed. However, the “demented horror comedy” part still stands.

Innocent and socially awkward virgin Crispin Merriweather (Thomas Sainsbury) arrives at the house-as-a-homestay of doll collector and satanic alchemist Beverley Beavington (Yvette Parsons). He seems happy enough with his new digs, despite his new landlady's passion for dolls, her glittery black eyes and demented demeanour. 

However, in between feeding Crispin great qualities of repulsive meat, it quickly unfolds that Beverly has a plan for Crispin: she wants to extract his semen in order to raise her deceased daughter, Verity, from the dead.  

And raise Verity (Sarah Houbolt) she does. Consummate circus performer Houbolt does an excellent job of the gruesome doll/demon Verity. Throwing herself about the stage in her blood-spattered wedding dress, she takes a grind saw to her chastity belt, bangs a nail up her nose and then says Satan taught her how. Quite.

Strong acting all round. Sainsbury and Parson's have written themselves wonderful comedic characters and they carry them off with aplomb. Special mention must go to the masturbation scene, in which Yvette Parson's delights the opening night crowd to the point of tears with her sexy butterfly dance.

If you aren't afraid of doll collectors already, you will be after this. This is a rip roaring ride, and it's jolly good fun. The opening night audience was howling with laughter and the cast was clearly enjoying themselves.

Yes, the script, while being great fun, could have been even better with a bit more polish, and yes, the production would have benefited from a tad more direction. But all in all, the cast do a great job of bringing a comedic horror (literally) to life. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.

See also reviews by:
 James Wenley (Theatre Scenes - Auckland Theatre Blog);
 Jan Maree
 John Smythe
 Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] (The Dominion Post);