Down­ton Abbey up­side down

The Tribune (NZ) - - REVIEWS -

Down­ton Ad-lib

The Im­pro­vi­sors Cen­tre­point Theatre Fe­bru­ary 17 – 28 Re­viewed byRichardMays

Down­ton Abbey fans will no doubt adore this af­fec­tion­ate live multi se­ries mash-up of the award-win­ning pe­riod drama.

Greeted by ap­pro­pri­ately cos­tumed char­ac­ters, it’s left to Maisie the maid to elicit five things on which to pin this semi-ad-lib spoof – a miss­ing body, a scarf, a jury sum­mons, a twitch, and Spain.

Need­less to say, things get a tri­fle con­vo­luted as the six per­form­ers, one pro­vid­ing in­ces­sant key­board un­der­scor­ing and sound ef­fects, work their way through the asks to re­solve the story on the trot.

While it didn’t all hang to­gether on open­ing night, there were some ‘dem clever’ car­i­ca­tures, tasty lines and enough ref­er­ences to keep Down­ton afi­ciona­dos happy, even if the Twat­ting­tons of Up­ton Downs seem to ex­ist in a bizarre al­ter­nate uni­verse.

Mark Wright as Cas­trate the But­ler, also dou­bled as the Span­ish am­bas­sador with an ac­cent straight out of Black­ad­der/ Monty Python.

Kerry King was a mas­ter of tre­ble iden­ti­ties, not the least be­ing Mum­bles (or was that Grum­bles) the game­keeper. Od­dball Ian Har­court made the most of a mous­ta­chioed Lady Dowa­ger, and Julie O’Brien’s Scot­tish ac­cent needed a clay­more to cut it.

Fun, if you’re in the mood for that type of fri­vol­ity.

Mem­bers of Welling­ton’s The Im­pro­vi­sors – not nec­es­sar­ily all who ap­pear at Cen­tre­point for a sea­son of Down­ton Ad-Lib.

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