Review: Jurassic Park, Vault Festival 2015

Originally published on A Younger Theatre 

If walking into the Vault Festival four days before its closure was your first entrance to the festival, then I can sympathise with the overwhelming sense of anger. This will subside and sadness will conquer, then disappointment, then you will pull yourself together and begin the countdown to January next year when Vault Festival 2016 will begin.

If you were smart enough to make time for Vault and savvy enough to pick up a ticket to Superbolt Theatre Company’s Jurassic Park, then you will be truly beaming with smugness; the Lecoq-trained trio, Maria Askew, Frode Gjerlow and Simon Maeder deliver a goofy, warm and charming piece that speaks to the audience’s inner child and is sure to delight.

Walking into the space, the audience is greeted by the actors (in character) who welcome strangers, briefly conversing with them and helping them feel at home. There are sparse moments of audience interaction dotted throughout the play, potentially something the company is interested in expanding in future productions. For now, the interaction is minimal, apart from the initial greeting and a second interaction mid-way through the play, and communicating with the audience is left to uncomfortable, penetrating gazes during dance scenes.

Jurassic Park, the play, explores the lives of two teenagers in the wake of their mother’s death. Their father, Terry, attempts to connect with his children but finds their strange interests, spikey attitudes and odd antics hard to master. Ultimately, a teenager’s love for the childhood classic, Jurassic Park, the film, brings them together.

The Superbolt trio deliver an hour’s worth of Britney dances, enchanting dinosaur seductions and physical comedy gags; it sounds like a strange, potentially hard to swallow mix, yet, the talent, bravery and comedic swagger of this group proves to be a winning combination; the room was filled with a constant hum of laughter.

Jurassic Park is a lively production with an immense amount of heart that will undoubtedly find a home with film-lovers and theatre-goers. It is a strong fringe theatre piece that is a credit to the young company who, based on this production, will solidify themselves as one of the fringe theatre greats, who create work that is thoughtful, funny and culturally aware.

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