The Good, The Bad, and the Extraterrestrials

Thu 2nd – Sun 26th August 2012


Hannah Buckley

at 00:29 on 3rd Aug 2012



Hat on my head, gun in my hand, I was ready to enter into the lizard lounge. The size of the cast was huge, and they really did well to set the atmosphere for the beginning of the play. I was a bit apprehensive of reviewing this show, just because the title sounds so strange and wacky and I didn’t really know what I was in for. The play was indeed very wacky and very strange - in fact it represents the diverse, random and mad atmosphere of the Fringe itself.

All the cast members were fantastic, directed by Andrew Pritchard. Everyone was so enthusiastic for their role, and it was really great to see them all being so proud of the play that they had produced themselves. For a young actors group, I thought that they were all very professional. From making sure we could see at the beginning, getting us involved throughout the play and then wishing us goodbye at the end, they kept in character the whole time. There was some very promising talent in the show, and so even if the script at times fell a bit flat, the play never stopped moving or losing its craziness. Actors to give special praises to include Dan Hughes, the main storyteller who expertly interacted with the audience and kept us informed of the plot. Lolita was also played really well by Rowanna Soyza. Her confidence is admirable, and I loved that her talent for languages was integrated into the play.

The props and costumes for this show were fantastic. Each audience member was supplied with their own pistol and hat, and I found myself getting a bit carried away shooting in the fight between the cowboys and Mexicans. The props also helped to create amazing staging, particularly the scene of riding by the sunset.

I do have to say though that this show is not something I would particularly want to go and see again. I say this for two reasons. The wackiness and randomness of it meant that I found myself lost as to where we were in the story until Hughes reminded us. You could tell that it was written by young people, but it definitely showed promise of great talent. Another slight problem was that the cast was so big in such a small room that there couldn’t be more than 5 or 6 members of the audience in one sitting without being very cramped. However, for a free show it is really worth going to see some really great young talent.


Davina Moss

at 01:05 on 3rd Aug 2012



What would happen if a spaghetti Western hero must save his beloved from alien abduction with a rag-tag bunch of Wild West clichés? Not all that much, it turns out, as we few patrons of the Young Actors’ Company’s Free Fringe offering 'The Good, The Bad, and the Extra-Terrestrials discovered.'

With a cast of nearly twenty in a cramped and awkward space, this hour of bad puns and awkward hilarity was chaotic, riotous and great fun. The large ensemble of young people were fully committed to their show, every one of them performing their consciously ridiculous roles with energy and vigour. But the play, which follows Becky Bush’s Wimpy Kid on his quest to save his ‘gal’ along with a Mexican, a priest and a man with no name called Brian (a show-stealing turn from Joe Acanfora), is uncontrolled and messy, the plotline practically non-existent and much of the action degenerating into child’s play more than drama or comedy. With so many people involved some cast members seemed woefully underused and the space was unable to cope with so many of them; audience members found our toes being trodden on throughout.

The play seemed uncertain of its tone. Much of the water pistol shooting and hammed performances seemed to echo pantomime fun, but Rowenna Soyza’s fortune-teller is so flagrantly sexual as to rate this a little above PG. Moreover, the show was filled with strange unexplained moments – odd cameos from Hitler and Albert Einstein, a pair of magnifying glasses randomly waved in people’s faces. Determined to visually delight the audience, the cast constantly produced new props from beneath our seats. Some of these were inspired – a life-size Lego game of Space Invaders being a highlight, but many others seemed unnecessary and seemed to clog up the already sated stage. A good laugh was had by all, but this show is far less than the sum of its parts.

The Young Actors in this piece are an immensely talented and creative bunch, and many of them have the potential to go far. But this show needs rethinking, taking in hand and reworking to use their skills to their best advantage.


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