Printable CopyRUBEVILLE
Until 24 Mar 2007

Review by Stephen Davenport

“Rubeville” is a gloriously ghoulish black comedy full of fraud and Freudianism.

Hustler George Clooney (Gareth Davis) is either suffering acute schizophrenia or wallowing in a miasma of self-delusion. His protégé Hernandez (Dylan Young) is a pitiful rent boy who offers himself to the audience, “Forty dollars? Ok, fifteen,” and then drops his shorts and then pathetically bends over the back of a sofa.

“You’re pandering to your audience,” George declares. “You’re not a busker you’re a hustler… no pants down, make them think what you’ve got is good” he directs as he reveals that “Rubeville” is all about shams and scams.

What follows is confrontational, eccentric, erratic, disconcerting and seriously funny as the audience’s expectations are masterfully manipulated by the sardonic and wickedly intelligent cast.

Dust-covered, blank TV sets, strewn across the stage, intermittently play random film footage as a live but ghoulish band, tucked in the corner, plays rock music. It all adds to the eclectic fun. The plot revolves around one of George’s scams.

Trixie, marvellously played by Eloise Mignon, is a drug addicted prostitute. She apparently overdoses on the couch and George sees an opportunity to ransom her to her rich parents. But is Trixie dead? And which of these dirty rotten scoundrels is really the ultimate con artist?

During the nonsense the actors step in and out of character. It all looks improvisational but it’s not. This is highly polished theatre, the quality of the acting is superb and the delivery of the well-timed jokes is impeccable.

Raw, powerful, energetic and anarchic, “Rubeville” is intriguing, startling and most of all entertaining.