fringe: death comes at the end

adelaide fringe - death comes at the end
The last performance of Death Comes at the End by Scriptease just happened to be the welcome return of a few faces we've seen before and some fresh new faces I'll be on the lookout for again.

Firstly, the venue of the State Dining Room at the Ayers House Museum where we saw Dorothy Parker strut her stuff.

Then, because it was Fringe and it was an improv show, who else could possibly be the Master of Ceremonies but the wonderful, and more than a little naughty, Joshua Kapitza most recently seen (by me anyway) in the D&D and monopoly inspired improv shows of past Fringes.

And there was also a very welcome returning face from this year, Eden Trebilco, from last weekend's Great Detectives show. I'm probably going to infer this a bunch of times in this review, but let me say it right out loud, right here... I may have only seen Eden twice now, but holy crap I love that man! He knows how to turn the dial not only all the way up to eleven, but he takes it past eleven, around to one again and then back up to eleven.

But getting back to the show... while the previous improv shows have taken their titles as a place to start and then gone all the way over the horizon to places unknown, this show sticks much more closely to the murder mystery format of Cludeo... well, at least it takes all the character names, and the room and weapon choices from there... everything else is pure brilliant insanity and based on whatever answers they could hear to a seemingly random question that each cast member asked the audience.

Hence we had Joshua as a Matrix/Mr Smith inspired Mr Green... Eden as an interpretive dancing Mr Plum... Jarrad Paker as a highly Mrs Doubtfire-esk Mrs White... the lovely Chicagoan Noah Tavor as a very laid back Colonel Mustard, inventor of the atomo ray that turned everyone (ie the audience) into hideous, yet sporadically sexy, zombies... Jaklene Vukasinovic as the very haughty (and in this particular show, the very murderous) Mrs Peacock... and last but not least, the victim of the tale, Coby Yolland as the stuttering Miss Scarlet.

Oh, and the lovely Anne Mayer as "everyone else in the known universe" (although her best role was as the very thick and then very amorous rugby player who ends up shot).

With any improv show it's difficult to remember all the twists and turns, but we had a mostly unrequited love story between Mrs White and Colonel Mustard, a somewhat requited (with much spinning) love story between Sensei/Morpheus Green and his pupil Mr Plum... the invention of the atomo ray (with the handy reverse switch that turned everything from death back to life... all with the power of love)... and a metric ton of interpretive dance (mostly performed by the brilliant Eden, although Joshua did give it a damn good crack as well).

But as with any game of Cluedo, the real question is who and where and with what.

To involve the audience, each of the cast dropped clues (and occasionally just flat out said the name of the room or thing) as to their item and location, and the program came with a handy logic puzzle to allow you to check off where the victim, in this case Miss Scarlet, was found and what the murder weapon was.

Then in the last sequence the murderer had to casually slip the name of the weapon into their dialogue.

Hence, our murderer was Mrs Peacock, in the lounge with the rope.

The cast was all brilliant, and I'm just sad that this was the last night, because I cannot recommend this highly enough. Joshua is wonderfully dry as always, I've already confessed my deep and abiding love for Eden, but Jarrad's Euphegenia White was pitch perfect, not least of all due to his ability to just break into song at a moment's notice.

And the point where the whole cast and audience is singing I Will Survive while Eden interpretive dances his heart out will be one of the things I'll remember most about this show.

This is a returning show from last year, so I can only hope they bring it back (or something very similar) again next year, because that's the very best thing about improv shows and the truly random nature of audience suggestions, it's never the same twice... anything can happen, and often will.

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