Scotsman Assembly, Edinburgh
August, 2000

Mr and Mrs Amboy's little boy Perth has grown up in a funeral parlour; his mother likes handling the viscera. When a bunch of suits bid to buy out the Amboys, the parents' meeting with their corporate predators and lawyer Ermine Miami (whose name is not a palindrome) takes place in a hotel room above the school prom at which Perth's sister Kea is squired by Lt William Calley, and which explodes into apocalypse for no readily identifiable reason except that it worked in Carrie. Do you get the picture?

The ten-strong Americana Absurdum company fit a week's worth of surrealism and one-liners into a bare fifty minutes in this show, playing in repertoire with their Wolverine Dream. The Amboys' home town is "built with a lot of asbestos, so it keeps a roof over our head." The corporate suits are exactly that there's nobody actually inside them as they jabber away about hostile takeovers. At one point, the Trilateral Commission and formaldehyde are mentioned in the same sentence. Scenes are played at breakneck speed, illuminated by hand-focused single-bulb lamps, in a delicious reductio ad absurdum (exactly) of apple-pie values. Laugh for more than a second and you'll miss another gag. A beaut.

Written for the Financial Times Web site, ft.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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