Rude Mechs, Get Your War On

Review in Issue 19-4 | Winter 2007

Get your game on, get your guns on, get your fear on, get your rage on, GET YOUR WAR ON! Yes! Operation: Enduring Our Freedom to Bomb the Living Fuck Out of You is in the house!!!

In the Rude Mechs energetic and unashamedly agit-prop production, a comic about a war becomes a play about a comic. The comic which gives its name to the show is the Internet cult hit by David Rees. Like the comic, the show is a round-the-water-cooler tale of office life; Joe and Jane Public’s response to Mr President’s war on terror, from Anthrax to Afghanistan, via Saddam’s execution. Appropriating the trappings of office life proves to be a clever way to incorporate the comic’s artwork into the action, mostly through use of overhead projections. The five-strong cast, armed with little more than a few sheets of acetate, bombard us with an awesome armoury of quips fired from the hip, and painfully funny faux-introspection laced with lethal doses of irony. ‘So if you’re not with us, you’re against us, huh? I like it! So nice and simple! When do we start bombing Western Europe?’

Yes, it is on one level a preach-to-the-converted anti-Bush tirade (although with added frisson from the fact that the company hail from Austin, Texas). But what I like most is that the Rowan and Marty Laugh-In tone of cheery cynicism is shown to be as much of a mask as the gung-ho pronouncements of the Bush administration; underneath it all is a desire for something better. A moment in which a character suddenly says: ‘I have a feeling we’ll find Osama Bin Laden soon!’, delivered with childish enthusiasm, of course raises a laugh – but the underlying pathos and hope shocks.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2007

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-4
p. 29