By Maree Paliouras
Any show beginning with the phrase “Hail Satan!” is guaranteed to be a wild ride and Oh No! Satan Stole My Pineal Gland! falls right into that stereotype. Written by Kirby Medway and starring Sarah Fitzgerald, Cheryl Ho, Liam Maguire, Natesha Somasundaram, and Lou Wall, the show depicts a neighborhood of Satanists who gather and discuss everyday topics such as television, food dye, and satan’s musical talent.
From Gilmore Girls to Communism (or Socialism? Or Marxism?), Oh No! Satan Stole My Pineal Gland! makes use of some of the most obscure and out-there comedy imaginable. Between the sheer absurdity of the show as a whole and its eccentric jokes, the humour is innovative and hilarious in a way that I previously considered impossible. The use of repetition and the way jokes were delivered had me in hysterics. Things that are absolutely the opposite of funny are contextualised and turned into something that gets the whole audience riled up. It is truly a display of brilliantly done comedy.
The play features four incredibly talented performers (and one tree who was a clear scene stealer.) Each actor has developed a comedic and easily distinguishable persona. Whether their character’s distinguishing traits be musical ability and a hatred for capitalism or having an annoying roommate just so happens to be Satan, the characters have clearly had a tremendous amount of thought put into them and are just as comedic as they are intriguing.
The performers portrayal of their characters is beyond impressive. With each actor as stellar as their co-stars, it truly is a display of a plethora of skills and unimaginable talent. Tone and facial expression stand out to me in particular, every performer seemingly a master in these areas. Their ability is awe-inspiring and the group work brilliantly with one another.
Movement and dance are used to enhance the comedy of certain scenes and aid others. Between wild dances to music played by other characters and a repeated funky action during transitions in location and time, this use of movement brought something equal parts captivating and funny to the show.
The set consists of a faux grass backdrop and faux lumpy grass floor surrounded by a ring of light. Already able to set the scene as outdoors, the set is minimalistic and used incredibly efficiently by the performers. Later on, it pulls apart to create secluded areas upon the ground, once again used to its full potential. Basic and aesthetically appealing; the set helps create an incredible space.
In surprisingly fashionable combinations of pink and red, almost every character has costumes that complement the others in both fabric and colour. This theme does come with an exception, a black and red outfit with gorgeous heels, complete with nail gloves and awe-inspiring makeup, whoever made the decision to portray Satan as a fashion icon deserves endless awards. The normality and organisation of the neighborhood’s outfits makes Satan stand out just that bit more, resulting in a flawless combination.
Oh No! Satan Stole My Pineal Gland is a brilliant and hilarious show of obscurity and excitement. A part of Melbourne Fringe Festival, it is playing at Trades Hall until Sunday the 29th of September and is the pinnacle of absurd comedy - missing the world premiere of this incredible show would be criminal.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.