The Little Theatre
Until 17 Mar 2019

Review by Kylie Pedler

Presented at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival

If the interpretation of ‘fringe theatre’ is works that are experimental in style and subject matter then this is the place for ‘The Ladder’. The doors are opened, (unfortunately 10 minutes late), the audience ushered in and two stamping cows greet you on a big screen. Their purpose? –I’m still not sure of.

A rather longer introduction explains who each character is and what the purpose of the evening is: to work through the potential of new material. While identified as a story exploring the need for optimism in pessimistic times it unfolded more like a journey of spasmodic tales of life, birth and death. At least the production advertising claims it is a work in progress: the initial stages of their rehearsals. If you are a fan of Julian Spooner and Shôn Dale-Jones’ other work and are interested in how a production unfolds from the page this could be a show to see.

The script is a little disjointed and lacking in substance, with some stories deserving more development and others that could disappear. However, what does have merit is the interruptive chats between the narrative, highlighting Julian Spooner and Shôn Dale-Jones comedic talents and Spooner’s physical theatre monologues: an ‘isolated’ mime, an erotic bar scene and his theatrical attempt at freeze falling down a ladder.

Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)