REVIEW: Two Man Tarantino (Christopher Wayne & Brisbane Powerhouse)

Emily Kristopher and Stephen Hirst in Two Man Tarantino

Christopher Wayne, co-creator of The Naked Magicians, has written an hour-long love letter to the blood, gore, and quirks of Quentin Tarantino’s films, and it makes for a really fun night at the theatre.

Presented with Brisbane Powerhouse as part of Wonderland Festival 2018 and directed by Maureen Bowra, Two Man Tarantino is set in the last video store in the city on its last night of trading. A staff member and a customer re-enact, to the best of their ability, the entire back catalogue of cult classics by Quentin Tarantino, from squinty John Travolta and preaching Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction, to Uma Thurman’s audibly swishy hair in Kill Bill, to The Hateful Eight retold through interpretive dance.

The actors’ enthusiasm for the subject matter was infectious and their comedic timing and hilarious impersonations kept the audience laughing out loud. Emily Kristopher’s energy bounced off the walls of the theatre as slightly drunk and very passionate Tarantino fan The Customer and Stephen Hirst’s performance was grounded in excellent impressions as The Employee (and he must be commended for his dedicated performance as ‘Butterfly’!). The actors’ commitment to the delivery of these recognisable scenes and lines – Pulp Fiction diner dancing included – is what made it truly funny.

There was plenty of gender role reversal in the way that they played out the scenes from the films which was refreshing, especially as the work generally didn’t centre the swap as part of the humour. Props are used creatively and the fight choreography is impressively well-executed. Like any Tarantino film, things get a little bloody – there is definitely a splash zone for this show!

Two Man Tarantino is a fun show even if you’re not a die-hard fan of Tarantino’s cult classics, although of course it would elevate your experience if you understood all the references. Driven by nostalgia for cult films and trips to the video store, the show relies quite heavily on perhaps the two most recognisable films, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, so casual fans (like me) who haven’t watched the whole back catalogue can definitely still follow along.

Two Man Tarantino will play at the Visy Theatre at 7.30pm from 29 November – 2 December. Further and ticketing information is available via the Brisbane Powerhouse website.

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