Hoipolloi, Sweet Bobabola

Review in Issue 12-4 | Winter 2000

This is the story of two alien bakers who plan to take over the world by feeding humans their irresistible cakes fatally spiked with ‘sweet bobabola’. This extra-terrestrial special ingredient causes those who imbibe it to swiftly fall into a hypnotic state and walk into the sea, leaving the alien bakers free to dominate the planet. Promising stuff one would think, from performers adept at creating and presenting their own, original material. Unfortunately, however, this particular show falls disappointingly short of the company’s usual standard.

From the outset, the show’s two energetic performers, Trond-Erik Vassdal and Shôn Dale-Jones, engage well with the audience in a jovial and warm manner, yet the over-enthusiastic welcoming and tantalising build-up to what will follow, only serves to heighten expectations that are increasingly dashed as the production progresses. Bill and Bob, the aliens in their human guises, flounder amongst inexplicable debris strewn about the stage. They sport checked blazers, intermittently donning token costume additions and wigs to represent the story’s other characters. The shamelessly shambolic scene changes and character confusions soon lose their comedic appeal, however, and the rather laboured, slapstick cake-baking routines would not look out of place in any pantomime – yet even the younger members of this audience fall silent the more protracted these sequences become. Some of the seemingly superfluous onstage items are used inventively as abstract props, particularly a collection of tangled telephones.

These two strong performers are obviously working hard, to their credit, yet one can’t help feeling they are struggling against rather weak material which seems barely out of its early devising stages.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-4
p. 24