Daniel Clarke is the scourge of all Brunswick-based theatre reviewers, of which there is at least one currently at large. He's the artistic director of St Kilda's Theatre Works and for the last year and a half has been churning out month after month of high-quality programming, making the gawdawful peak-hour trek across town an almost weekly obligation.
So it was bound to happen sooner or later. After sitting for what seemed like an hour in the Punt Road parking lot, forlornly contemplating an "Everybody Hurts"-style solution, your humble Brunswick-based reviewer finally did make it to the opening night of Cut Snake, 10 minutes late.
Staged in a smallish tent adjacent the main Theatre Works building, the play is a witty, sometimes poignant, sometimes mad-cap, exploration of the effect a person's death can have on their dearest and nearest. It was a break-out hit at the 2011 Fringe Festival, and combines acrobatics, slapstick, dance, caricature and plenty of gender-bending hijinks, as Kiki, Bob and Jumper – three best friends with amazing dreams – embark on the journey of a lifetime.
Now in all good conscience your dilatory reviewer, though very much enamoured with what he did see, couldn't possibley offer a proper review of Cut Snake. But here's the next best thing: a conversation overheard between two likely-looking punters loitering out the front of Theatre Works after the show.
A: Just a real snake. Seriously. A real one. How much could it be? $100? $500? Then they'd have a real snake and not a sock. I mean, a sock? That's shit.
B: But she had the eyes on it and everything.
A: No. Get a real snake. Then you've got a show.
B: I once travelled from Edinburgh to Germany for a show. I think I'd do it again to see this.
A: Really? Even without a snake?
Enlightened? Actually, based on what we did manage to see, we reckon Cut Snake probably is worth travelling 1100km to see, or at least the 25-odd km from Brunswick to St kilda.
But if you want to find out more, Time Out Sydney's resident theatre writer, Darryn King, was treated to an unexpected preview performance of the show way back in 2011. You can read all about it here.