Stack at Bedlam TheatreCultureTheatreEd Fringe
Stack is indeed what it boasts on the poster: a “very silly musical comedy play”, which follows big-time celebrity-explorer-cum-woman-slayer, Stackard Banks (Ed MacArthur), as he relays to the audience his riveting and hilarious adventure to the Amazon, where he tries to make “the best documentary the world has ever seeeeeen!”.
MacArthur’s over-the-top portrayal of Stack, the character he has clearly lovingly created, as he conducts press conferences that come alive with pre-recorded interviewers’ questions that sound as though they are coming from the audience itself, blasts his way through a dense jungle made real by clever lighting and sound. The character marries an exotic but nutty tribal princess (played endearingly by Annie McGrath) and gets high as a kite on the mysterious drug Igobu. It is all completely in-your-face and random, but that is what makes this musical so unique.
The story takes a little while to kick off, but once it does, it is non-stop, a jumbled adventure tale for the child inside all of us who has no idea what is going on. The musical aspect of the performance is surprisingly funny too, with both original and adapted lyrics reflecting the smooth silliness of the narrative and carried by MacArthur who really can hold a tune. With a trippy yet humorous backdrop projected onto the stage, as well as a guest appearance in the form of a voice downloaded from Youtube by the enigmatic rock star Sting, MacArthur pokes fun at cosmic devotion and celebrity pretension throughout the performance in complete confidence, drawing snorts and chuckles from a delighted audience.
Stack is a musical that steadily increases in pace, leaving the viewer by the end with a very silly grin, truly apt for such a very silly show.
Stack is at Bedlam Theatre from 17th August until 28th August 2016, for further information or to book, visit here.