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BWW Review: DANTE'S IN-FURLOUGH, The Vaults

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A soul-binding contract, an uncooperative fiancée, and plenty of infernal fun await guests at The Vaults.

BWW Review: DANTE'S IN-FURLOUGH, The Vaults

BWW Review: DANTE'S IN-FURLOUGH, The VaultsThere's no better climate than a global pandemic for the Devil to get married, don't you think? And they (yes, they - if we need to have one genderqueer character on the theatre scene, it definitely needs to be Lucifer) are inviting you to their hellish royal wedding reception. Dante's In-Furlough makes for an irreverent, naughty, boisterous, and appetisingly foul-mouthed adventure. A soul-binding contract, an uncooperative fiancée, and plenty of infernal fun await guests at The Vaults.

Inspired by Shel Silverstien's poem Billy Markham and the Devil (the fact that it was written for PlayBoy in 1977 should suggest the flavour of its tones), it's certainly not something for the easily offended. The audience, ready to prove to be deserving of their seats, take a trip to Hell meeting Nancy - the Devil's bride-to-be, held in the underworld against her will - as the preparations for her wedding are wrapping up.

The show is Covid-safe from start to bottom whether people decide to attend as spectators or to dine. All patrons are required to wear masks at all times and the demonic presences of Hell ensure that different households are always keeping their distance as they sanitise their hands and props regularly. This said, they succeed in transporting the crowd to a world that should be scarier than ours, but somehow almost feels more secure and comforting than the real thing.

The three-course dinner comes at the very end of the journey when we reach the bowels of Hell, crowning the whole experience as an enormous triumph for the company. From the visuals of the entire piece (curated by Thomas Kirk Shannon) to the food, Dante's In-Furlough reminds us of what life felt like before the year took a turn for the worse. Co-creators Sam Carrack (who also directs) and Ami Stidolph have built a portentously entertaining expedition.

Dante's In-Furlough runs at The Vaults until 30 December.



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From This Author Cindy Marcolina