Moral Support, Ms Dench’s Dentures

Review in Issue 14-2 | Summer 2002

Ms Dench's Dentures is a cautionary anti-capitalist fable about the menace of corporate greed and the dangers inherent in wanting it all at the expense of honesty and integrity.

One morning, Frederick Fonteyn – 'not disturbed, not insane' – played by Mike Sengelow, wakes up to discover that the perfect set of pearly whites he went to sleep with have been replaced with a shoddy set of someone else's teeth. Namely those of Ms Dench, a tea lady, who usurps not only his way with words but also the company he works for. With a voice only able to speak the truth Fonteyn's comfortable corporate world, spun on a web of lies, unravels before him.

Reciting rhyming couplets written by Glyn Cannon, Vicky Heath and Liz Strachan are narrators and chorus, goading and criticising Fonteyn into penury, and puppeteers manipulating the characters of his downfall – one of which is a dentist with a voice frighteningly similar to Janet Street-Porter.

Though it is refreshing, and a rare treat, to hear poetic verse used in new writing, the characterisation was superseded by the needs of the language, and sacrificed to the cleverness of the text. Whilst the three performers nimbly delivered the lines, at times they missed the humour in the juxtaposition between the comic and serious rhymes.

Utilising video projection and a live pianist – which adds a quality of cabaret – this show steers an amusing course between whimsy and serous political satire.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-2
p. 28