FRINGE 2016: THEATRE – Defrosted – Le Cascadeur, The Garden of Unearthly Delights – 3K

DEFRO2016by glen r johns

As you can tell from the title, Defrosted is a pastiche of the megahit Frozen. A simple set, designed for touring: just a screen (reminding me of the Paramount Pictures mountain logo) hiding a swag of props, a cheap freezer & a guitar. Cat and Nicko are onstage bantering about favourite Disney princesses as the audience come in. Princesses outweigh the princes 3:1, with an average age of about 5.

Then we’re away. There’s lots of energy, lots of physicality, audience interaction (kids onstage, kids calling out), and a few almost recognisable songs to hook the little ones in. The blizzard is a wonderfully fun lazzo returned to over and over.

As with its inspiration, story is somewhat lacking. A magical freezer acts as a kind of Macguffin designed to sleigh ride us along, but as often as not the skits snowball away from that into silliness without apparent reason. The players only introduce themselves 20 minutes in, which by that point seems redundant, and simply slows things down. But the girls in the audience are loving it. The boys take a little longer to warm up — the ample application of poop and fart jokes helps; as do some lovely slapstick moments involving Niko’s head coming into contact with a range of things.

That said there a few Adult Jokes, I saw mums & dads looking to each other and smiling at references to Lonely Planet guides and “me-time”. However, it’s odd that in a show about a ‘strong’ ‘mould’-breaking Disney princess, it’s the guy who has the bulk of the gags, and the starring role. Granted, he was very physically adept, but it just seemed … off. And when Cat had a few key moments towards the end, she really shone. Ironically the highlight is a sing-along with the most beautiful princess in the room — a reluctantly roped in dad.

All that said. I’m not the target demographic by about four decades. Cat and Nicko are good enough clowns to make this pleasant family theatre for the under 8’s.

Kryztoff rating: 3K

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