Monday, February 22, 2010
Adelaide Fringe 2010 Review #2
THE CHRONIC ILLS OF ROBERT ZIMMERMAN - AKA BOB DYLAN (A LIE): A THEATRICAL TALKING BLUES & GLISSENDORF
Tamarama Rock Surfers
Until 27 Feb 2010
Review by Brian Godfrey
If there is a Fringe award for the longest titled production, then this show has won it hands down. The title is a small indication of the wonderfully strange, bizarre, theatrical experience awaiting.
As written by Benito Di Fonzo, this is Bob Dylan’s story as Bob himself would probably tell it - strange, lyrical, mystical and very heavy on name-dropping.
The play is so well written, directed and performed, that this non-Dylan fan was rapt. Director Lucinda Gleeson wrings every drop of talent from her very fine cast and has an obvious eye for humour and emotion that never becomes overdone.
On a nicely cluttered, but never distracting set designed by Eliza McClean, Matt Ralph shines as the Man Himself, Zimmerman/Dylan. Looking not unlike the singer/poet, Ralph never leaves the stage during the show’s hour long run and barely stops speaking or singing - and certainly never stops performing. This man IS Dylan and the audience never once doubt that. Ralph is also the Musical Director of the show and excels at that as well.
Complementing Ralph wonderfully are the multi-accented, very funny Andrew Henry and the very talented, beautifully voiced, Lenore Munro; both playing a multitude of characters. One of their many great moments has to be as John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Since Dylan and music go hand in hand, we must not forget the marvellous job performed by the nonspeaking muso, Simon Rippingale (also doubling as the second Musical Director).
This type of production can either turn out as a load of arty-farty wank or a marvellously engaging theatrical experience - Tamarama Rock Surfers have produced the latter.
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)