Brisbane Powerhouse & The Suitcase Royale

 Visy Theatre

10th – 20th October 2012


Reviewed by Emilie Guillemain

What is one to expect from a show titled Zombatland? Well…one thing’s for sure, it is wise to expect the unexpected.

The Suitcase Royale I hadn’t heard of The Suitcase Royale before, but when their latest Edinburgh Fringe Festival offering, Zombatland, had been described by The Guardian as “Tom Waits meets The Mighty Boosh”, I knew that I’d be in for a treat.

The audience is welcomed into the land of The Blue Lagoon – a caravan park set in the Australian outback. The star attractions of the site are wombats, but since a mysterious disease has struck the animals deadly bloodthirsty beasts now haunt The Blue Lagoon.

Following in the footsteps of his father, the park’s Mayor attempts to carry out the “shining” legacy of The Blue Lagoon, until he is faced with his brother Darren being kidnapped by zombats.

Fusing a mixture of narration, video, performance and song, the audience is opened up to a series of quirky characters and eccentric stage set-ups in this curious tale.

Despite having a variety of performance elements up their sleeve it is evident The Suitcase Royale’s most powerful weapon is their injection of humour. The crowd is in hysterics as the characters find themselves in one awkward situation after another, some seemingly unrehearsed; cue faltering props and equipment falling to the hardwood floor… or is it all perfectly executed chaos? At least one reviewer has been fooled!

“It’s not safe out here, Darren,” claims the Stranger as he nervously smiles into the crowd.

While the kind of out-there humour that was present throughout the play had clearly stemmed from British comedy, The Mighty Boosh, Zombatland maintains fierce originality and presents a thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre for those with a love of the bizarre and B-grade horror.

Join the Mayor as he journeys into the depths of the park to save his brother, face up to his fears, and tread the path of self-discovery in this hour and a half of laugh-out-loud twisted comedy.

But beware of the zombats…“Things are going to get scary, and sexy.”

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