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Fantastic Voyage

By Jarrod 5 Apr 2016

 

Watching ‘The Seven Sons of Suppurath: The Winch of Fate - Part One’ is a little like witnessing the end of an era.

For the past 6 years or so, Wellington’s My Accomplice have been making theatre in their own distinctive style — but with one of the original 3 Accomplices about to depart the country, it could be a long time before their next outing as a trio.

My Accomplice — Hannah Banks, Uther Dean and Paul Waggott — are the team behind plays such as ‘A Play About Love’, ‘A Play About Space’,’ Joseph K’ and ‘Watch’, as well as spooky podcast anthology series ‘The Witching Hours’. They’ve been collectively responsible for well more than their fair share of my favourite theatre moments over the last several years.

It’s Waggott who’s leaving — returning to his home country, England — and to give him a proper send-off, My Accomplice have created a physical and demanding solo show. The Seven Sons of Suppurath is a break-neck voyage through every fantasy cliche imaginable, from ancient classics, through Tolkien and Lewis, to Rowling, Martin, Blizzard & Bethesda. The deceptively complex plot is a brutally efficient vehicle for delivering quips, puns and assorted pop-culture jokes… and for putting Waggott through his paces. He plays a veritable (and occasionally literal) army of characters, switching between them with aplomb while always making it clear who is being portrayed.

He’s aided in this by superb music and sound design by Oliver Devlin — who, among other things, contributes a catchy original song that will live in your head long after you leave the theatre. On opening night there were a couple of moments where the mix between onstage or recorded dialogue and music wasn’t quite right, meaning some words (and particular some characters’ names) were lost — but this was only briefly distracting.

Overall, The Seven Sons of Suppurath — unwieldy, difficult title and all — is a fitting farewell. It showcases Waggott and My Accomplice at their best: it’s clever, hilarious, and guaranteed to leave you walking out into the night with a smile on your face.

The Seven Sons of Suppurath: The Winch of Fate runs at BATS Theatre until Saturday 9 April.

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BATS Theatre

The beating heart of New Zealand theatre for more than 25 years, you’ll find an exciting, affordable, and unpredictable live theatre experience at BATS almost every night of the year.

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