By Colin Flaherty
In an intriguing concept, Dingo And Wolf (Laura Dunemann and Eleanor Webster) have taken on the challenge of performing the Greek tragedy Medea to showcase their brand of train-wreck theatre. As with any Dingo & Wolf performance, the main thrust of the show is the comical conflict between the pair. Wolf attempts to present a lofty piece of theatre that is often too ambitious for her talents while Dingo misses cues, fluffs lines and generally becomes preoccupied with insignificant items in the room.
This duo bounced off one another well in these daggy personas. Their bickering was creative and they used some clever insults but having this as the main focus of the show was a bit of a stretch for an hour as it got slightly tiresome at times. It was nice to see a little twist when Dingo was given the opportunity to shine briefly in the spotlight, but she was soon put back into her place and then it was back to Wolf being a bully for every flimsy reason. A fair chunk of the show involved the girls rushing about the performance space utilising homemade props and costumes while taking their places on the stage which was exhausting to watch. When on stage, they primarily drew on their character’s hammy acting and numerous mistakes to make themselves the butt of the joke, rather than the text itself.
With Medea as a framework they were given the opportunity to have some fun with the text and boy did they have fun! Characters were renamed to give them a modern feel, historical facts were wildly misquoted and plot points and locations were misconstrued. Some scenes were completely replaced by inappropriate dance numbers (including Wolf’s soulful ballad that was a great reworking of the plot in song) and there was the inclusion of wildly inventive scenarios that added to the classic story in their own wacky way (Jason’s Bah Mitzvah scene was wonderfully silly). There was even a ridiculously short and relatively extravagant interval included in the madness. The impressive thing was that despite all the detours they stuck with their brief and did give us a fairly entertaining & extremely silly version of Medea.
A video monitor added to the audio/visual component of the show by displaying title cards, showing chunks of text for the audience to read (thus the audience cleverly became the Chorus of the play), and popping up misinterpreted images in lieu of backdrops. This would have been more successful if it had been placed on a higher pedestal for all the audience to see.
Aside from the Wolf-centric programme thrust into the audience’s hands at the start and Wolf’s constant boasting, there is little in the way of background for the duo as they launch into their epic. Not that there is really anything important that you need to know about the relationship between this pair of infantile characters to enjoy the show, but their assumption that we all knew their history is bold. Whether you’re new to this talented duo or have been following their career, you will have fun in the company of this odd couple.
Dingo & Wolf in Medea is showing at The Portland Hotel – Locker Room until October 14
For bookings see the Fringe Festival website