Sunday April 22, 2018


May 21 2017

WILD BORE, Beckett Theatre, Malthouse, 17 May-4 June 2017. Photography by Tim Grey: above – Zoe Coombs Marr; below - Adrienne Truscott; below again - Ursula Martinez

With Wild Bore, created and performed by Ursula Martinez, Zoe Coombs Marr and Adrienne Truscott, the thought “theatre of alienation” springs to mind as we are presented with three 

“arses’ at a trestle table. They are talking to the audience about the worst reviews each of these creative performers has received. It sets the scene that the show is going to be irreverent – and it is.

It is an amusing premise to do a show around bad reviews, but we do know that some bad reviews can be poetic short stories which say more about the reviewer perhaps than the show.

The piece is a collection of found texts adapted from the canon of theatrical critique done in an hour. An hour on a roller-coaster. I found it fascinating that the performers have learnt critics’ reviews and performed them; such a perverse notion – to give life to something hated!


Inadvertently eavesdropping, I heard the person next to me saying he could have walked out twice but whenever I looked in his direction he was giggling. From being alienated to theatre of the absurd with political statements about accessible theatre thrown in for good measure, oh and the female form in all its glory.

It made me want to give one of “those” reviews but I’m not sure that I’m eloquent enough and I didn’t hate it enough either.

And just when you think it can’t go any further, we are hit with gender politics with the entrance of Krishna Istha giving commentary, or not, on what we have just witnessed, and “why am I here at all? I’m not even in the program!”

Ursula Martinez (UK) is as commanding and naughty as usual, Zoe Coombs Marr (homegrown) is dry with a great sense of timing and Adrienne Truscott (USA) brings up the rear (as it were). Istha has the ability to make you smile.


Danielle Brustman gives us a simple design: blacks with a trestle table set for a press conference and then the same set meters high which creates its own theatre. Her costume design? Pants that allow the “arse" to rise, and “arses” that are worn on the head – I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when it was presented to the rest of the creative team!

People will love Wild Bore or vehemently hate it, which is what this sort of theatre sets out to do.



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