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Stiffs - publicity shot

Stiffs, The Space on North Bridge (Perth Theatre) – Review

Pros: It’s fun and makes time go fast.

Cons: The storyline can be enriched with more comedic material.

Pros: It's fun and makes time go fast. Cons: The storyline can be enriched with more comedic material. Two lads wake up in an unfamiliar room lit in violet, dressed only with an hospital gown and covered up to their faces with a white sheet. One of them (Mark Olszewski) sneezes, as the room is visibly chilly. When he gets up, he notices a paper tag tied around his big toe, which reads "Vince Parker". 'Am I a birthday present?' he wonders. The other man (William Batty) also finds a tag around his big toe, with the name "Dave…

Summary

Rating

Good

A pair of lively stiffs try to join the dots of how they ended up at the morgue

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Two lads wake up in an unfamiliar room lit in violet, dressed only with an hospital gown and covered up to their faces with a white sheet. One of them (Mark Olszewski) sneezes, as the room is visibly chilly. When he gets up, he notices a paper tag tied around his big toe, which reads “Vince Parker”. ‘Am I a birthday present?’ he wonders.

The other man (William Batty) also finds a tag around his big toe, with the name “Dave Stuart” written on it. He’s confused about why he’s there and seems quite uncomfortable.

Starting to unravel the mystery surrounding them, Dave and Vince soon realise that they’re both dead and currently guests of the local morgue. Unable to remember anything about their previous lives, they’re compelled to work out their true identities and, most importantly, their cause of death.

A transistor radio and a newspaper come to their rescue, offering some leads about a news report that recently hit the headlines. Trying to join the dots, this pair of very lively stiffs generate all sorts of speculations about their families and their past social status.

Produced in association with The Civic, Barnsley, Stiffs is the stage debut of up-and-coming duo Marcus and Wilhelm, who combine character comedy with short sketches, to create a delectable absurdist piece. Inspired by the works of Beckett and Stoppard, this two-hander explores the ideas of death and what elements contribute to make us who we are.

Despite the predictable direction of some slapstick gags, the time flies by and the audience are visibly enjoying themselves. The original storyline and the undiscussed talent of both performers suggest that there’s plenty of room for development and great potential for Marcus and Wilhelm to polish their comedic material.

Written, Directed and Performed by: William Batty and Mark Olszewski
Produced by: Marcus and Wilhelm Productions in association with The Civic, Barnsley
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run

About Marianna Meloni

Marianna Meloni
Marianna, being Italian, has an opinion on just about everything and believes that anything deserves an honest review. Her dream has always been to become an arts critic and, after collecting a few degrees, she realised that it was easier to start writing in a foreign language than finding a job in her home country. In the UK, she tried the route of grown-up employment but soon understood that the arts and live events are highly addictive.