Doom Gravy: A radio disaster in 6 parts

Festival Club at XII Below, 12 Moray Place, Dunedin

18/03/2010 - 27/03/2010

Dunedin Fringe 2010

Production Details

Witness the fitness as the cast of cavalier characters cascade their way out of the wireless and into your heart. Radio like you’ve never seen it before… DOOM GRAVY!?

Dates: March 19, 20 & 25, 26, 27
Venue: Festival Club at XII Below
Time: 11:00pm
Duration: 10 min

10 min | Thur, Fri, Sat only, 11pm

A quick burst of surrealistic humour

Review by Terry MacTavish 20th Mar 2010

Right, so the spirit of Fringe is taking hold and I find myself doing absurd things, like dashing out at nearly midnight to the Festival Club at XII Below (ah, to live in Dunedin, where every venue is but minutes away!). Here, on a small platform in a subterranean bar, an old-fashioned concept is being given a lunatic new twist.

Doom Gravy: A Radio Disaster in 6 Parts re-creates the Radio Play of the ’40s and ’50s, popular just before black-and-white TVs flickered in darkened lounges, which had thespians in evening dress, and a sound-effects bloke in overalls, engaged in a polite skirmish round a studio microphone. LA LA’s polite skirmish is conducted in Hawaiian shirts, lei, and tropical flowers in the hair, but what the heck.

The clever nonsense they conjure is reminiscent of The Goon Show,which parodied the original turgid soap operas, so-called because they were sandwiched in between commercials for cleaning products.

Once a little problem with the speakers has been more or less sorted, the radio actors take us on a crazy drive around town with a 36-year-old boy racer who lives with his mum. He is voiced unexpectedly but confidently by the only lady of the group, who has nailed the understated delivery of the very average Kiwi male.

A highlight of this first short episode is a scene in a supermarket, where a voice over the PA blandly directs staff to the aisles to clean up such things as Marc Ellis’ ego from the floor, and toxins in the milk powder. Similar satirical New Zealand references abound.

It’s particularly entertaining to watch the sound effects being created. I am reminded of that cartoon of the guy at the mic holding a kettle above a snoozing kitty while he reads from his script “and she let out a scream like a scalded cat”. LA LA even had one of those cute miniature doors to open and close.

A quick burst of surrealistic humour that doesn’t take itself too seriously and comes with a drink is a welcome wind-up to a Fringe evening out. New episodes will play over six nights [Thurs, Fri, Sat], and judging by the hoots of laughter from the lively audience, LA LA should gather quite a cult following. 
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