The Quentin Dentin Show at the Arts Theatre
Produced by Hannah Elsy and directed for Above the Arts by Caldonia Walton, The Quentin Dentin Show is a marvellously eccentric rock musical about an odd game show host-style motivational guru who pops out of the radio into the living room of a bored, frustrated couple in a stalled relationship.
With elements reminiscent of Frankenfurter in Rocky Horror, Willy Wonka, the Mad Hatter, Peter Pan, even the supernatural character in The Mask, Quentin Dentin (Luke Lane) is a dynamo who never stops singing and spouting slogans like “You’re a solid, I want to make you a gas…Reality is whatever you project…Get happy, no one is going to like you until you’re happy…Embrace machines”, and offers “absolute profound happiness in 60 minutes or less!”.
Opening with a live rock band and two surreal characters who slither and bop around the stage and audience, a kind of Space Oddity madness prevails throughout. With excellent music and vocals, this rousing musical comedy is wonderfully creative and fun, a kind of Mad Hatter’s tea party meets The Truman Show on Facebook (“I can surround you with friends”). The actors are very talented and bursting with magnetic energy. Luke Lane nails it as the bizarre, suave, Faustian Quentin, whose charismatic dynamism and sinister charm lead astray troubled pair Nat and Keith (Shauna Riley and Jamie Tibke).
After taking them on a series of failed fantasy trips, from fame to rock stardom, to underwater and space exploration, Quentin urges the couple to swallow a pill that will dissolve all but their happiest thoughts. Questioning the wisdom of “taking lobotomy pills from a singing therapist”, however, they decide they should face reality instead, much to Quentin’s rage.
Luke Lane’s performance is particularly brilliant, and the three-man band in Blues Brothers shades rocks it. The two odd creatures in white, the “Friends”, are played with exceptional versatility and ingenuity by Felix Denton and Lydia Costello. Costumes are all-white uniforms to shimmering gold wings (angel wannabe Quentin), the staging is simple and the inventive manoeuvres of the actors are the set.
The Quentin Dentin Show is an excellent production brimming with insights into our current society: its information overload, pop self-help psychology, quick-fix advert-inspired advice, reliance on technology and obsession with social media. Delightfully weird, with terrific writing, direction, performances and instrumentals, this rock musical is a winner.
The Quentin Dentin Show is on at the Arts Theatre from 16th until 28th May 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for The Quentin Dentin Show here: