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DERANGED LAUGHS

Print Version

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

at BATS Theatre (Out Of Site), Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington
From 21 Feb 2013 to 23 Feb 2013

Reviewed by Laurie Atkinson, 11 Oct 2013
originally published in The Dominion Post

If you can imagine a horror comedy conceived by the Marquis de Sade and performed by a trio of inmates released from his fevered brain then you are getting close to the essence of Dolly Mixture.

Or you could think of the 19th century French theatrical genre, Grand Guignol. It was characterised by its melodramatic treatment of murder, rape, the supernatural and the like.

Crispin Merriweather (Thomas Sainsbury) has no family, no friends, and no job. He arrives at a house of horrors run by Beverly Beavington (Yvette Parsons) who just happens to be in need of a virginal young man to help her with her daughter Verity (Sarah Houbolt in a superbly creepy make-up).

Beverly, looking like a well-fed Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, trips about her house with elephantine grace, occasionally bursting into outrageous performances of songs like My Favourite Things, while tending to her large collection of dolls which she treats with a mix of love and hatred. She is also into séances for which Crispin happily provides some ectoplasm.

The boundaries of ‘what-can-we-get-away-with?' are tested throughout as are the audience's eardrums by Yvette Parsons' screams that she emits in her steamrolling performance.
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See also reviews by:
 John Smythe
 Heidi North-Bailey
 James Wenley (Theatre Scenes - Auckland Theatre Blog);
 Jan Maree