By Caitlin Crowley
You don’t need to have seen Wolf Creek the film to be familiar with the story – all-round Aussie bloke psychopath abducts foreign backpackers in the outback for torture and murder sessions. It’s hardly the stuff of musical theatre but that is precisely the point. The cast are quick to admit that they have taken some liberties with the story but what the hell – they’ve taken liberties with the whole musical theatre genre.
Written by Adelaide comedians James McCann and 2013 RAW Comedy winner Demi Lardner Wolf Creek the Musical has already enjoyed successful runs at both Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals. There’s quite a buzz around this show, and rightly so. This is one hour of laugh-out-loud, charmingly silly fun.
There’s a deliberate B-grade feel to the show, with handmade props, pantomime style gender -swapping roles and drawn-on beards. The ensemble cast is consistently good. McCann, perched to the side of the stage, plays musical accompaniment, sound effects and any necessary expositional filler.
It takes real talent to perform bad dance moves but the very funny Hayman Kent, as one of the two British backpackers, pulls it off perfectly. Chris Knight, complete with beard and blonde wig, is the ‘hot’ friend and Lardner is hilarious as the thick Greek-Australian guy. It will come as no surprise to anyone that our trio’s outback adventure soon goes awry.
Kel Balnaves as a mad-eyed murderer is delightfully menacing and Angus Hodge in multiple roles steals almost every scene he’s in. Most of the songs are punchy although Knight seems to have drawn the short straw by comparison although he makes up for it with an extended over-the-top death scene. The groan-inducing blue gags work for the most part but there was probably one too many “rape dungeons” for this reviewer.
If you’re into bad rhymes, tragic puns and awkward dancing then you’ll really enjoy this show. Check out this talented bunch of weirdos – they’re in murderously good form.
Wolf Creek The Musical is on at Trades Hall – Old Council Chambers until April 20