Anywhere Theatre Festival 2012
Woodfordian Institute of Street Performance (Reverse Garbage, Woolloongabba)
Duration: 45 minute flight (Arrive early to enjoy the comforts of the first-class lounge)
Brisbane’s new budget airline, Airolinius Hipopotamus, is named after the only mammal known to wallow in the shallows and kill people. Pilot Roxoff Gromlot adds: “If 60 percent of passengers survive, it’s a good flight.”
This is a no-frills airline with no baggage allowance run by a family of East European Gremlins.
After check in at the Reverse Garbage hangar at Woolloongabba, passengers are directed to the first-class lounge (the first seat offered is a wooden toilet seat) or to economy.
Puska, Dult and Urslek provide a genuine, if bemused, welcome to their guests. In the first-class lounge, we are offered entrees – smashed potato, (toy) piglet and other gremlin delights – and the night’s entertainment begins.
It’s worth arriving thirty minutes early for an improvised street performance using collapsible tubing, a handbag, toys and joyous imagination. At 7.00 pm, we join a conga-line to board the plane.
This is a ramshackle plane that even Tiger Airlines would be ashamed to own, but Virgin Airlines might praise for its sustainability. Everything is recycled. Seats vary from camp chairs to stools and upturned milk crates. The back of a van provides the cockpit: it features metallic walls hung with discarded electrical tubing and a budget intercom (computer mouse).
Airline uniforms are distinctive and individual: a tunic of men’s ties, a skirt of rubber gloves with matching collar, a sexy bustier of stiffened curtain fabric, and overalls patched with seatbelts.
We need little translation for East European Gremlish as cabin crew, Mofball and Botolf, settle us in and give us the unusual safety lecture.
Pilot Roxolf is gruff, blunt, and fluent in English. This is the flagship of the Virgin Mary airline and the fulfilment of every Gremlin’s dream to fly. If only we could get off the ground…
A rendition of the Gremlish national anthem, Beyonce’s “Put a ring on it”, shorts out the electrical system. To find out how power is restored is your mission for the festival.
Our inflight entertainment is accordion music provided by the talented, but gagged captive, Richard Grantham. His running musical commentary comes to an explosive end from which more than 60 percent survive.
The Gromlot family are expressive in mime, physical presence and facial expression. The Gremlish is believable East European gibberish. They were trained at the Woodfordian Institute of Street Performance founded by Jenna Koda and Alex Podger. For your delight, more Gremlins were hatched at the recent Cairns Festival.
This fourth Gremlin production is an interactive delight for all the family. Come with a sense of wonder; leave knowing the Gremlin salute to a successful flight.
Performance seen: 10 May 2012
Review and Photo: Shirley Way
Directors: Jenna Koda and Alex Podger
Cast: The Gromlot family – Roxoff, Mofball, Botolf, Puska, Dult, Urslek
On-board music: Richard Grantham
Venue: Reverse Garbage, Woolloongabba
Posted at Anywhere Theatre Festival http://anywherefest.com/blog/2012/05/review-the-gremlins-gravity-is-only-the-beginning/