Ridiculusmus – The name says a lot: preposterously erudite, a bit strange, and stupidly funny. Ridiculusmus is Jon Haynes and David Woods (the bald bloke last seen in Company B’s Exit the King). Their celebrated two-man company burst into life in the UK fifteen years ago. They’ve been breaking laughter barriers and every rule of theatre ever since. How could we not invite them to run amok at Belvoir St?
Company B played host to this pair of dangerously smart idiots in a special Ridiculusmus mini-festival. Two wonderfully different shows played consecutive seasons.
The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde’s shining lesson in comedy was performed in its entirety by Jon and David. All nine characters. All by themselves. This production is a bust-out hit everywhere it goes. Wilde’s play gleamed with jewel-like clarity amidst the Ridiculusmus mayhem of virtuoso character turns and high-flying theatrical invention. It packed out Sydney Opera House for its brief season in 2006, and we were grinning in anticipation for its arrival at Belvoir St.
Tough Time, Nice Time
The silver tea-set delivery of Wilde, the first of the two show festival, gave way to the drivelling banter of a pair of German sex tourists. Tough Time, Nice Time is set entirely in a jacuzzi in Bangkok. What began as idle chat became a jaw-dropping assault on good taste and notions of theatrical decorum. Sex and loneliness muddled with global politics. This was a sadistically funny and darkly fascinating peek into the idiotic corners of the human brain and the murky shadows of the liver. It was their brand new show and it came to Belvoir St fresh from a season at London’s Barbican.
This is one of the most brilliantly sophisticated and hilarious productions I have seen.The Sunday Times
Jon Haynes and David Woods offer a jaw dropping portrayal of the entire cast… The logistics of the mise en scene are breathtaking.The Australian
Seriously funny, enormously intelligent… a theatrical tour de force.The Age