Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!
By Ridiculusmus. Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall. Nov 20 – 25, 2018

Can you envision what life would be like when you’re really, really old?

Well, the dynamic independent theatre maestros of dead pan comedy Jon Haynes and David Woods (Ridiculusmus) have created a pair of tender frail over-ripe 120 year olds in their new show Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

In a hilariously funny show revealing the traps of old age, Haynes and Wood take the snail pace movement of time and space to reflect on the disabilities of an ageing body, while creating an awareness of negative attitudes surrounding senescence

The setting of an English manor is chosen for the aging couple who enter in their formal wear. Norman (Jon Haynes) and Wife (David Woods), both physically decrepit, shuffle across the floor, co-dependent by marriage until death do them part. Intimacy and love is clear, along with gratuitous sexual acts, strange as it may seem - audience members laugh with comfortable unease. Gratuitous spittle, pill popping, vulnerability, repetition and tenderness are beautifully rendered with pathos and classic British dry wit.  She dies and Norman is left  to grapple alone with his ageing son Arthur (David Woods), who has  a physical and cognitive problem.

An old worldly atmosphere - with ticking father time and cuckoo birds (sound design Marc Cher – Gibard) and lightning design by (Richard Vabre) signify the grandeur of an old estate.  Norman, now alone in soul and spirit, is quick to react to the mischievous Arthur. Yet the absence of his other half is woeful and heart wrenching. He manages his daily affairs with emails and a mobile phone; his end his nearing but his life keeps slowly ticking on.

This is a superbly defined production that challenges our notions of old people and entertains us with great indie theatre.

Flora Georgiou

Photographer: Bryony Jackson

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