The Fasted Clock in the Universe

Tue 10th – Sat 14th November 2015

reviews

Eleanor Costello

at 01:49 on 11th Nov 2015

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I can’t help but feel that this play has been somewhat ironically named. Time has surely never passed so slowly. The production droned on for an hour and 45 minutes. It felt infinitely longer.

To be fair to the cast, this was mostly the fault of the script itself. Quirky, absurdist, surreal, metaphorical, whatever the author would choose to label it, it was awful. There were lots of deep references to birds and animals. There were really odd moments when the actors had to pretend to actually be birds. The characters were exaggerated stereotypes that were almost impossible to identify with. I mean, their names - Cougar Glass, Captain Tock, Foxtrot Darling - tell you something about the nature of the play. The play ended (spoiler) with the revelation that ‘the fastest clock in the universe’ was in fact love. I kid you not.

There were still plenty of enjoyable moments. As the audience walked into the theatre, Seth Kruger, who played Cougar Glass, was in a small pair of white pants, posing in front of the mirror and limbering up. I thought that this boded well for the rest of the play. Kruger was a good actor, but he seemed woefully miscast. I can’t put my finger on exactly why. I was essentially watching an attractive, normal guy (who I had a suspicion was probably quite nice) playing a character quite well. He was a strong actor, but I just couldn’t quite believe him to be the cruel, cold, devastatingly attractive and charismatic man that he was meant to be.

There were lots of elements of dark humour. There was one audience member sat at the back who kept laughing very loudly, and I felt pleased that at least someone was enjoying the show – but then she stood up and walked onto the stage, and it emerged that she was a member of the cast. Still, things picked up in time. Cheetah Bee, played by Ola Wetherell, had some brilliantly comic lines. I loved the party scene between Sherbert Gravel, Foxtrot Darling and Captain Tock, played by Katurah Morrish, Adam Mirsky and Ryan Monk respectively. Morrish was particularly exuberant and compelling. Light-hearted and sharp, this scene had the audience laughing loudly. At one point I actually cried with laughter, although admittedly this was because the sofa had broken in half at an inopportune moment, which I suspect was sadly not part of the script.

The actors themselves were all individually very good; I couldn’t find any real fault with their performances. But nevertheless, something crucial was lacking. None of them had the overwhelming charisma needed to save the script. There was no build up of tension. Even the violent on-stage fight wasn’t particularly exciting or climatic. And the whole thing just went on for so so long. Every time they mentioned clocks or time or age it was like torture. I was wondering how old I would be by the time I emerged. Time may be running too quickly for the vain Cougar Glass – but it certainly could have done with going a bit faster for me.

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