This is the Fringe, so whenever I hear of a show that sells itself on its meta-theatricality and companies ‘fighting against each other’, I proceed with extreme caution. However, Starship Osiris is a diamond in the rough – a completely anarchic and chaotic romp through a rather wobbly amateur theatre company, that managed to be incredibly tight and feel like it is bursting its bounds at the same time.
The cleverest thing about this production is that it realises in order for the audience to be on their side during the rebellion against their director/producer/writer/lead actor, the actual ‘show’ itself has to be bad. However, the one piece of criticism I have for this show is that the first 20 minutes of the ‘bad’ version of Starship Osiris were almost too realistically crap – for the entirety of the first half of the show I was wondering whether two stars would be too generous. It is only in the second half of the play where the abysmal start makes sense, however I do think they could have pushed it a little bit further – potentially differentiating between their two different personas during the first half of the show as well as the second, thereby giving the whole piece a larger sense of unity.
But despite the slow start, when Starship gets going it really powers up. The entirety of the last half was just plain and utter bonkers – audience members dressed in green balaclavas enthusiastically locking the main actor in a wooden coffin while three others are asked to stand in when the rest of the cast go AWOL. One performer gives up and starts downing champagne in the audience, the second ‘captain’ starts striding around giving orders in his underpants. Bizarre and slapstick, it truly does represent the spirit of the Fringe.
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