Upon entering The Space theatre, decked out with some cabaret tables and the remaining area as a seated theatrette, we are greeted by members of the cast who are mingling and introducing themselves, getting to know the audience members. Little did we know that these primers will form part of the show later….
Don Juan, presented by New Zealand company A Slightly Isolated Dog, is a brilliant experience in audience participation, chaos, comedy and delight.
Based on the legendary, fictional character of Spanish libertine, Don Juan, the cast take us on a journey of the story of the famous womaniser.
A wealthy man who devotes his life to seducing women, Don Juan takes great pride in his ability to seduce women of all ages and stations in life, and he often disguises himself and assumes other identities to fulfill his seduction. Don Juan lives by the aphorism ‘Tan largo me lo fiais’ which is his way of indicating that he is young, and death is distant. He also believes he has plenty of time to repent for his sins. His life is punctuated with violence and gambling, and in most versions of the story he kills a man, Don Gonzalo, the father of Dona Ana, a girl he has seduced. This murder leads to the famous ‘last supper’ scene, where Don Juan invites a statue of Don Gonzalo to dinner. In this version, he willingly goes to Hell, having refused to repent.
Here lies the twist – A Slightly Isolated Dog take this story, adds a Monty Python kink, with a pinch of mime, a whole lot of physical theatre, interwoven with pop songs and a dose of comedy slapstick.
This is a fantastic night out for young and old.
House lights remain half up so we can truly feel we are part of the story, only to be dimmed in moments injected by modern pop songs relevant to the scene at play.
A multi-conversational show, where the cast have planted props and storylines within the crowd, I could not hold back from actual laughing out loud with every word and action these highly talented actors flashed at us.
From an impeccably timed soundtrack, cue the whipping sound, to the cast taking it in turns to portray Don Juan [symbolised with a cap, sunglasses and boom box], this show is a riotous revelation of absurd sketch comedy and quick wit.
Honestly, you must see this show – wherever it is in the world!