Dead Gorgeous: A True Crime Clown Show is an interesting blend of genres by the Adelaide based theatre collective Madness of Two. With an emphasis on the clown show, the cast of 5 use dark humour, satire, and of course clowning, to explore true crime and our obsession with it.
The group integrate music and songs with their act in clever ways, as well as perform songs that they encourage the audience to sing along to. These audience interactions are great fun, and they go even further with a game of charades and by staring at you in awkward moments. The cast also reacted well with improvisation in response to the audience and their reactions to their acts.
The show is at heart a clown show, so it’s stupid and silly and funny, even when covering the darker topics of murder. This is the embodiment of the theatre companies’ practice of tackling important issues in non-traditional ways. As the show uses clowning and jokes as a backdrop for the realities of murder and cold cases. They also cover in all seriousness the unsolved cases and unfairness of murderer’s getting free, as well as the many women that suffer fear from these facts.
The venue of Rumpus worked with the show’s theme wonderfully, as to get to the theatre room from the entrance one must wonder a few dark winding hallways. The space itself was also used to a great extent, with props and other items scatted artfully on the ground, surrounding the outside edges of the stage.
The show does use speakers for music and setting the scenes in a fun way, the opening scene especially relying on it. However, the speakers were set quieter than the cast, so it could be difficult to hear the sound over the cast and appreciate the jokes that were initiated through the speakers. This didn’t detract from the performance overall, and the integration of music with their acts is still very fun and executed well.
So, if you’re ready for some satire and clowning and fourth wall breaking, all surrounding true crime, come along to Dead Gorgeous: True Crime Clown Show.