FRINGE 2013: Theatre – Raton Laveur – Bakehouse Theatre – 4K

Rodents in the roof can drive the calmest person to distraction. Lily (Wendy Bos) comes home in response to a desperate phone call from Phil (Ben Noble), who appears to have developed a rather unhealthy obsession with racoons, and soon realises that something has gone badly wrong. Together, they have to try to determine a way out of this tricky situation. That’s easier said than done and the impact of Phil’s actions on their relationship is going to be massive, however it turns out.

The script, from Amos Crawley, David Patrick Flemming and Caitlin Stewart, is tight and highly entertaining; the dialogue is full of witty interchanges and clever one liners, the story moves along at a good pace and wraps up before it can run out of steam. There are times when Noble’s Phil seems a little too childish – bordering on intellectually challenged – for the relationship with Lily to ring true, but his desperation and emotional turmoil is nicely contrasted by her pragmatic approach to the situation.

This is great black comedy and director Alister Smith has clearly worked his actors hard to get the performances he wants. Noble and Bos fire off each other; their timing is excellent. Beneath the comedy there is the darker, more serious side of the play and both actors also manage to give depth and feeling to this side of their characters.

This show is not for the faint of heart but is a great laugh for those who enjoy the humour that can be found in otherwise serious parts of life.

Kryztoff Rating: 4K

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