Vogelmorn Bowling Club, 93 Mornington Rd, Brooklyn, Wellington

26/02/2016 - 28/02/2016

Production Details

A Deep-Sea Colony in the Far Future: The Last Pop Singer Known To Man gives a private concert to a revolutionary army made up of the rotting remains of mankind. Will he finish singing his life story before the bomb strapped to his neck can go off?

Bomb Collar is a one-man sci-fi cabaret musical about loss, legends and the soul-crushing cage that is the live pop gig. 

Vogelmorn Bowling Club, 93 Mornington Rd, Brooklyn Wellington
Feb 26 & 28
8pm (60 min)
TICKETS: free/koha 

Theatre , Musical , Cabaret ,

Fri & Sun only

Sloppy execution

Review by Shannon Friday 27th Feb 2016

This show is really lazy.  

Admittedly I am one of three people in the audience. This makes Nick Delatovic’s job nearly impossible. But an under-committed performance, underwritten script and simplistic songwriting have already stacked the deck against him and his colleague Adelaide Rief. 

Delatovic plays an unnamed undersea human /creature /dude who is the last musician in the world.  He’s specifically a pop musician, and he’s here in an underground bunker to play a concert for us.  We’re the soldiers of the plains, heading out to battle our enemies from the mountains in the morning, making the whole event feel like Captain America’s concert on the front or a USO tour.  However Delatovic’s creature is playing while he has a bomb strapped to a collar around his neck. We must be very quiet and still to keep it from detonating. 

Delatovic’s music is played on a device that can only play three sounds and one song at a time.  It is like when Dr Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham, which uses only 50 words, on a dare.  However, you think about the target audience for Green Eggs and Ham versus that of Bomb Collar, and it becomes an unnecessary limitation.   

It means the songs all sound pretty similar, with little variation in time signature, key, or tempo.  They also bear very little resemblance to a classic pop song structure; none have a bridge as far as I can tell. If it were looped live, then I would understand, and the challenge of both singing and executing the music would provide an additional point of interest.  

Lyrically, there’s some ironic, geeky content. It reminds me of Jonathan Coulton’s stuff: ‘Merry Christmas’from Chiron Beta Prime,Re: Your Brains’or‘Still Alive’. And Delatovic has a pretty good voice, clear and strong through his whole range. 

His performance is indirect, mumbly, unclear and under-committed. Mostly Delatovic stands at an angle to the three of us and sings at the corners of the room.  There’s some posing, and one song in which some YMCA/Beyonce style dance moves are trotted out, but the beginning and end of each move is unclear, with little sense of how it relates to the stage picture or the music. 

The show’s world is sketchy. None of the information we get goes beyond one sentence, all told in a flat expository way, with little vocal or physical variation to clue us in to the character’s feeling or attitudes towards the world he has found himself in.  I can’t help but compare this to great narrators like in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or GlaDos from Portal, whose info-dumps also reveal character and world.  Hell, even the live bomb in the room feels run of the mill.

Everywhere, the execution is sloppy.  A great makeup design with a plant-like beard, a fun light-up collar and sleeve, and a fantastically bodgy under-the-sea loincloth are let down by being worn over jeans and stocking feet. 


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