Presented by: South Australian Youth Arts (SAYarts)
Reviewed 23 February 2016
On Tuesday, a sold-out crowd squeezed into Perske Pavilion for Everybody Dies, the farcical tale of a not-too-distant future where vaccinations have become a capital offence.
SAYarts Tutor and Everybody Dies Director Claire Glenn was impressed during a discussion with her Making Theatre Class about questionable medical practices, and their intelligent views on the vaccination issue.
Each scene focused on a new group of characters, therefore giving each child performer a chance to shine in the spotlight. We opened on a homeopathic hospital, where three young Quackademics are treating a prisoner who recently contracted smallpox. Attempted cures included strapping a live chicken to the patient, consulting a phlegm chart, bloodletting, and gemstone powder administered orally. The patient did not make it.
It soon became clear that there would inevitably be an outbreak of smallpox among a large group of prisoners, currently awaiting execution at the whim of all-powerful President Middle Child Syndrome. In order to keep them alive long enough to see their executions, the nervous Warden enlists the help of a pro-vaccination medical professional, Wilma.
Wilma falls in puppy-love with one of the prisoners, Jeff. Together they escape and document the vaccination process, proving that western medicine really works. During the following scenes, Wilma and Jeff flee from the Squat Team (a group of fitness fanatics and security professionals working for the Warden) and the infamous assassin Timberland Van Der Vegan. They find allies in unlikely places, and eventually confront President Middle Child Syndrome.
The calibre of the children’s performances was impressive, as was their tongue-in-cheek comedic delivery. The play was peppered with pop-culture references from Blade Runner to Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. The sets were predominantly made of cardboard, with Steampunk embellishments and a dystopian twist to all graphics (for example, the Money posters designed to boost morale) that suited the premise perfectly.
Everybody Dies was an undeniable force of energy.
Reviewed by Nicola Woolford
Rating (out of 5): 3.5
Venue: Tuxedo Cat, Perske Pavilion
Season: 23 Feb – 27 Feb
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $11.00 – $20.00
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)