Review: THE MOUTH INSIDE THE MOUTH – ADELAIDE FRINGE 2024 at Studio 166 At Goodwood Theatre And Studios

A touch of the weird and wonderful.

By: Mar. 04, 2024
Review: THE MOUTH INSIDE THE MOUTH – ADELAIDE FRINGE 2024 at Studio 166 At Goodwood Theatre And Studios
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Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Sunday 3rd March 2024.

Hot Heads, Keir Aitken and Lily Kuenzler, performed The Mouth Inside The Mouth, a primarily physical theatre piece, with a couple of spoken sections. Dressed in white, the duo makes use of a form of puppetry, with overtones of Commedia del’Arte. Grotesque masks, held some distance in front of their faces on extensions, gripped in their teeth, and skeletal bodies, made of bones and eggs in strips of material and wire cages, run from toes and hands to join in front of their bodies.

A simple wooden structure, with hooks for hanging the masks and puppet costumes, is the only prop. It also has a scroll, that is revealed, bit by bit during the performance. There is drama, and some humour. The puppets are used both on the body, and separately, and there are dance interludes, including waltzing. There is much variation in this performance.

There was a small degree of audience participation. Led by singer/guitarist, Tommy Says, the audience was invited to stand and sing along to the Quaker hymn, Lord of the Dance, but, with COVID still around, I chose not to sip the broth from the cup that was passed around the audience, like Catholic communion wine, although most did so.

The one problem with this performance was the sound mix. I suspect that the lyrics of the songs, composed and performed by Tommy Says, were significant, but the guitar tended to drown the voice, and this was worsened by pushing the low frequencies and cutting the high frequencies, resulting in losing the consonants. Tweaking the graphic equaliser could easily remedy this.

If your taste is for experimental, quirky, even bizarre performances, the sort of thing that was once a hallmark of a Fringe production, before vast numbers of stand-up comedians overwhelmed the festival, then this is for you.