EdFringe 2018 Review : Don Juan

Don Juan
★★ Tickets

The mysteries and legends of Don Juan are the subject of this raucous immersive production from New Zealand’s A Slightly Isolated Dog theatre group. Don Juan is an undeniably fun experience, despite not actually exploring its subject matter with much focus or depth.

Five larger than life performers (and a host of audience members) take centre-stage for Don Juan – with each of the cast dipping into the role at various points throughout the runtime. Don Juan’s romance with the pious Doña Ana and the subsequent fall-out from this experience make up some of the lose narrative that binds this interactive party together.

The beating heart of Don Juan is the high-octane performances from its cast. The moment we step into George Square’s The Bubble, we are greeted and acknowledged by each suggestive cast member with an enthusiastic French accent. They spend time chatting to the audience before the riotous party begins. With each cast member attempting to share their understanding of the Don Juan story there is an immediate silly one-upmanship between the cast, each fighting to depict the real versions of events. They are incredibly entertaining to watch – and even when not delivering a line, the over-the-top manner that each cast member behaves in is entertaining enough to bring a smile to a bronze statue. Many of these interpretations are interlaced with immaculately performed pop songs delivered with a fun sense of gusto and enthusiasm.

The production is impressively mounted with a mix of makeshift practical effects – most entertainingly a sea crafted from black bags, extra-strength tape and pieces of cardboard. We also have the added fun of seeing Don Juan’s voice over-dubbed by other members of the cast – so whoever is in the role of Don Juan in each respective re-telling is actually not the one voicing the character. The result of this is often incredibly silly, but undeniably fun.

Being an immersive production, this version of Don Juan is filled with audience interaction – some more successful than others. However, it does craft a larger-than-life party atmosphere with near everyone in the audience being dragged into the proceedings in some shape or form.

If looking for a straight-laced depiction of the legend of Don Juan, you will most likely not be satisfied. However, when the party kicks off and the high-octane silliness from an incredibly entertaining cast begins, you will still leave with a smile on your face.
Theatre Review 7260878141935131202
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