Jennifer Christie reviews Sink The Pink’s Christmas offering How To Catch A Krampus now playing at the Pleasance Theatre.
How to Catch a Krampus
21 November 2018
What is a Krampus? Apparently it’s a half man-half goat creature from folklore. A Krampus is the anti-Santa figure who visits children in December to administer punishment for naughtiness. How to Catch a Krampus is a production for the LGBT+ collective, Sink the Pink. It’s been written, directed and designed by Ginger Johnson and can be seen at the Pleasance Theatre.
Firstly the show looks stunning. The set, make-up and costumes are lush and multi-layered and the lighting design of Clancy Flynn provides a wealth of glorious visuals. The ample use of red back wash with white light picking up the branches of the onstage tree is used to great effect.
Musical backing is provided by piano and strings with Sarah Bodalbhai, the musical director, on piano. The keyboard is sometimes effectively swapped for the distinctive music hall sound of the honky tonk piano. The musical arrangements are often unexpected and distinctive.
Johnson stars in the pivotal role of Madame, medium and more throughout the night. At all times Johnson’s performance is polished, charismatic and entertaining. From his first solo number, a parody of I Will Survive, until his Medea moment and consequent breakdown Johnson sparkled as he competently draws the many elements of the show together.
How to Catch a Krampus is melodrama set amongst the acts at a music hall in all their absurd diversity. This device works but takes some time to be established. One would think that the use of red curtains that swish in and out of the performance space would define the difference but it takes a while to establish just where you are. This creates an imbalance but that’s not to say it’s a bad thing to be momentarily disoriented.
The turns on the musical hall stage are divine. Each ensemble piece has a quirkiness of its own, with flavours of Monty Python. The carol singing is traditional music with bizarre parodies like Bob the Builder to the tune of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. All are very clever but perhaps with one verse too many. The other big hit was the dancing of the ‘Morris Men’. This segment is an hilarious joy.
David Cummings provides a brilliant opening to the show immediately establishing the tone to be a mix of Rocky Horror with traditional panto brought by Ginger Johnson. Later in the show Cummings gives a brilliant interpretation of The Masochism Tango.
Another outstanding solo piece comes from Lavinia Coop in a new realisation of Rihanna’s hit song I May be bad but I’m Perfectly good at it. Coop hits the comedic sexiness…perfectly.
This is just the tip of what’s contained in this eclectic and effervescent show. With it’s adult themes and visuals as well as the horror and gore content it may not be a show for younger children, but why would you take them along anyway?
Until 23 December 2018