The Ballad of Backbone Joe

3 Stars


This tale of mystery and revenge set in pre-war, small town Australia is performed by a trio of versatile Australians, Joseph O’Farrell, Miles O’Neill and Glen Walton. The show defies pigeon holing. Is it comedy, theatre or musical? The answer is all of them, and more. Even the comedy cannot be pinned down but it does veer towards slapstick.

The show has a film like quality with sound and lighting effects a well as music both live and recorded in blues and folk style. The set and props mirrors the acting which could be described as ramshackle, deliberately so. The guys seemed to have acquired bits of wooden junk and nailed and stuck them together. It is not often a prop receives a gasp of astonishment but this did happen when a suitcase was transformed in a flash into a car with headlights.

This is a show to simply sit back and enjoy the whacky fun which passes before your eyes. It is full of surprises, if something of a mishmash.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number – Pleasance Courtyard; V33

Dates – 4 to 29 August 2010 (not 16)

Times – 14.35 to 15.35

Fringe Programme Page Number: 31


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