9 Jul

King kong
by Daniel Clarkson
At the Vaults
A bombastic movie maker of the 1930s wishes to make a movie of the famous thriller. If I saw King Kong as a child I think I would even then have found the whole thing rather ridiculous. I certainly have no fearsome memories of the giant ape though I remember the story well. My son loves the film so maybe I took him to see it when he was little.
Here it is treated as a joke- which I always felt it should be. Bob Crouch is suitably tyrannical and misogynistic as Carl Denham, old style director with ambitions to be D.W.Griffith but turns out to be more of a Mack Sonnet, with occasional sly references to the present day president of America.
He gathers together a useless mob of creative talent and sets on a task to find a dumb blonde to play the part of Fay Wray. What he does not see under his nose is a Fay Wray look alike – a sexually attractive blonde brought to him by casting director (Brendan Murphy in one of his many roles). Ann (Alix Dunmore) is highly intelligent and solves most of the venture’s problems with simple logic but her wit is not appreciated or even heard by the Master until they are repeated by a male member of the crew – the aforementioned Murphy plus Benjamin Chamberlain as Jack and Sam Donnelly as the Skipper all of whom get a chance to shine in the first part of the evening.
Eventually time is running out and there are no other women around so Denham finally notices Ann and she is given the part of the doll like heroine.
This is a hilarious kind of romp that should appeal to anyone over the age of about five. A pantomime complete with political allusions – but sadly no songs. Songs would help it along when the silliness begins to wears a little thin and to my mind the production falters when they are forced to concentrate on the plot and rely on puppetry and slapstick. Until that time, the fun rests on the shoulders of the hugely good natured and shamelessly OTT cast. They enter into the style with infectious enjoyment. After that there is too little wit and too much slapstick for my liking.
As for the star eponymous character – you’ll have to see the show to meet King Kong in person. It is on until 27th August.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: