Box and Cox: Married and Settled!

Box and Cox: Married and Settled!
Adelaide Fringe 2019. Maniacal Arts. Don Pyatt Room, Norwood Concert Hall. 15-23 February 2019

This Victorian-era farce was first performed in 1852, a sequel to the successful Box and Cox written five years earlier. That was a story of Mr Box and Mr Cox unknowingly sharing a room; this is a reuniting of the two, each now with a wife and child.

It’s a light and uncomplicated tale, a little slapstick, overstated Englishness in its dialogue and physicality barely stained by the quickly dismissed suggestion of impropriety.  

Emma Austin’s Mrs Blower is the standout performer – she engages the audience before the show starts properly, and the knowing winks and asides keep coming throughout the show.

The other four work hard – maybe too hard to overcompensate for the small audience – but their connections with each other shine only in moments: the first awkward greeting of Mr Box and Mr Cox, the memory of longing across the breakfast table for someone who is now married to another.

If you’re looking for something that isn’t sinister, doesn’t have bad language and raises a few laughs; if you’re wanting a Fringe show you can take your granny to, then perhaps this is the one for you.

Mark Wickett

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