Review by Trish Chang, dawghaus.ca
60 min | Comedy | G
The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy is a funny, madcap piece, that is everything the Fringe Festival is about. This comedy tells the story of two agents who, on a last case together, go universe-hopping to find the Prime Minister’s daughter’s missing cat. Sound crazy? Bat shit crazy, perhaps? Well, it is. It borderlines the kind of insane brilliance that you might have written when you were high and drunk at 4 in the morning, and thought, “hey guys…imagine if everyone takes their pants off, just…suddenly?! Wouldn’t that, like, be hilarious?!”
And it kinda is. The plot almost runs secondary to the comic abilities of this larger-than-usual Fringe cast. With some delightful local shout outs that Ottawans will love, there are a great number of chuckles and physical bits of comedy throughout this show that keep it entertaining. The opening afternoon audience wasn’t exactly wild with laughter, but there was plenty to keep an audience engaged throughout. It felt like The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy played out a little like a cartoon – the physicality of it was always funny, and there were enough twists and turns to stay entertained, but you walked out of it not quite sure what had happened.
The play has an overall solid cast, with Laura Hall leading the way, playing Agent Lexie Voice. Hall impresses with a dry comic prowess, and a rapid-fire dialogue that helps keep the show moving. Also worth mentioning is Megan Murphy, who plays the Prime Minister’s daughter, and finds some delightful moments with sweet, chipmunk-style comedy that really works. But who really steals the show (and the universe on a couple of occasions) is Ron Langton as Bob Shirley. His over-the-top style physicality had the audience never knowing what he was going to do next in a way that was exciting, hilarious and altogether, well…bat-shit crazy (sorry, I just can’t stop).
The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy is sure to keep getting better as it practices its comedic timing with more and more audiences. If you like wacky, oddball, sci-fi comedy with a dose of local humour, this might just be the show for you. It’s also worth mentioning that on opening afternoon, the show sold out a good half hour before hand, so make sure you get there early.
The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy by Allan Mackey is playing at Venue 4 – Studio Léonard-Beaulne (135 Seraphin-Marion, University of Ottawa) on Sunday, June 23rd at 12:00pm, Monday, June 24th at 5:30pm, Wednesday, June 26th at 10:00pm, Saturday, June 29th at 7:30pm and Sunday, June 30th 4:30pm. Tickets are $10.