Monday, February 22, 2010

Adelaide Fringe 2010 Review #3

The Chronic Ills Of Robert Zimmerman
The Bakehouse Theatre, Sat Feb 20

The Chronic Ills… is a freewheeling ‘glissendorf’ pastiche of folk history, interview, myth, song fragment, biography and musical interlude that rattles past at breakneck speed like an angel-headed methamphetamine jive-talking ‘60s hipster. Unable to secure rights to Dylan’s catalogue, the production avoids a nostalgic run through the highlights of the canon. Instead, musical interludes are distorted renditions of tunes performed by Dylan; the result almost as contradictory, confusing and irreverent as the man himself.

The cast rise to the challenge of an astounding number of words, characters and identities. Joan Baez is as annoying as she should be, John Lennon is hilarious and Simon Rippingale’s musical accompaniment is outstanding in its subtlety and effectiveness.

Those new to Dylan may get tangled up in blue but for fans of the man, concept or era, don’t think twice, it’s great.

Final Word: Dylanological.

Troy Foster

The Chronic Ills Of Robert Zimmerman continues at The Bakehouse Theatre at 8pm until Sat Feb 27.

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