Jumble, 22 Death Scenes

Review in Issue 18-3 | Autumn 2006

It is a long time since I visited a jumble sale, but this company brought back memories of those excursions into the possibility of unknown gems that lie beneath a pile of old Y-fronts and vermilion cords. ‘Scratched’ at BAC and Fresh festival, this is the first full-length outing of 22 Death Scenes, which mixes fragments of films with autobiography, exploring a number of attitudes towards possible ways to meet the grim reaper. Most surprising is the presence of the death of Daphne from the Australian soap opera Neighbours. The melodrama of the original is articulately undercut by simply reading from a clipboard at a microphone.

Jumble avoid the trap of self-indulgence that can be common in forays into this style of performance and at moments produce some resonant material. In particular, Mike Twedle’s charming disposition as he recounts the death of a loved one belies a darker persona, carrying the material beyond mere recounting and investing it with a disturbing theatricality. The various sketches are populated by snatches on cello, guitar, trombone or drum, fleshing out understated moments and supporting others that veer towards the grotesque. Particularly notable is the finale, a musical homage to Freddie Krueger, complete with clothes peg fingers and woollen entrails. The danger in presenting a jumble is that often the choice items can get lost amongst the odd socks and ragged jumpers, and although this group steer away from this hazard at times, there are still items that aren’t quite right for recycling and should be thrown away.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-3
p. 29