The End of the Line

Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

07/10/2010 - 09/10/2010

Production Details

Freight Train of Comedic Melodrama Smashes into Fringe Bar

Paul Stephanus’ Bard Productions Comedy Troupe, in association with the newly founded Wellington Humor Advancement Trust, is bringing three days of comedic genius to the Fringe Bar with their Wellington debut of the smash hit The End of the Line.

Join the lovable Thomas Lalabama in Small Town, Alabama. Born as the alienated runt of the vast litter of Lalabama children, Thomas stoically copes with the multifarious forms of scorn and adversity that confront him in his life… until finally he snaps. Or more accurately–Erupts! Oh yes, cheer young Thomas on as he stands up for the repressed little man. Look on in disbelief as he annihilates the Mayor of New York in a wrestling bout, slays Ronald McDonald in an epic lightsaber dual, and gives Barack Obama a taste of his own medicine, all in the name of… well just because he’s pissed off! Through the power of his own rage Thomas will subdue the world, and perhaps the Universe. And I bet you want to be there when he does it!

Performed with superhuman fervour by Scott Ransom and Wilbur McDougall, narrated by the sympathetic Chris Dawson, and brought to life by the mesmerizing soundscape of Rene Ross, you will not want to miss The End of the Line.

On for three days only:   
October 7th, 8th, and 9th
Time: 6:30
Place: Fringe Bar
Price: $15 standard and $10 for groups of five
You do not want to miss this! 

Disjointed, illogical

Review by Maryanne Cathro 07th Oct 2010

The End of the Line is a two hander with Wilbur McDougall and Scott Ransom playing multiple parts, supported by narrator Chris Dawson and musician Rene Ross.

It was clear that Wilbur and Scott are accustomed to working together and so I Googled them to see what I could find. Not surprisingly I found an entry in this year’s 48 hour film festival, and it was really good, funny and with great production values for a 48 hour film.

Which leads me to the hard part. The style and humour of The End of the Line simply didn’t land on stage at all. The plot and presentation had the disjointed, illogical quality of something thrown together, like an improv performance or a 48 hour film festival. In those genres, no-one minds or cares that the whole thing makes no sense, we are impressed by even a shred of coherence. However the expectations of a piece of rehearsed theatre are quite different.

There is some great stagecraft in this show – for example both performers are very good at showing anger, stage fighting and playing different characters with different physical characteristics. All good skills for an improviser to have, leading even more however to the feeling that had the lads come out and said, “We’re going to tell a life story, and we need a name, a place and an occupation … Thomas Lalalabama? Ok … Alabama? Makes sense … train conductor?”… I doubt the end result would have been much different, possibly much better.

It’s a pity this show is on during the Improv Festival and that the performers didn’t join it rather than go off and do their own thing. I think they are missing an opportunity to work to their strengths and not against them. 
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