Writer: Meghan Tyler
Director: Gareth Nicholls
Reviewer: Molly Knox
Meghan Tyler’s Crocodile Fever is a remarkable black comedy that explores a sisterly relationship that’s bound to end in tears. As it debuts at the Fringe, at the Traverse Theatre, this astonishing play uncovers the secrets of their extremely dysfunctional family, whilst stepping over the boundaries and tests how darkly unhinged it can really get.
Tyler’s talented writing presents the audience with two very different characters; Alannah, who is very tightly wound and god-fearing, and Fianna, a woman with a fiery, punk attitude. Both portrayals by Lisa Dwyer Hogg (Fianna) and Lucianne McEvoy (Alannah) are on point, energetic, and utterly fantastic. McEvoy and Hogg bring so much life and edge that it’s hard to look away from the palpable tension and impeccable comedy timing they both create. Neither of them fail to evoke an entire array of emotion from the audience with their talented portrayals of two pitifully unhinged women crushed with fury and vengeful desires.
The play opens on an obnoxiously pink, spotless, Catholic household in 1989 Northern Ireland, about to experience a thunderstorm. This backdrop creates the perfect setting for the chaos, anger and violence about to rampage through the heart of the Devlin home. There’s hardly anything about the look, sound or operation of this entire show that could be faulted; it’s truly a gruesome, cold-blooded masterpiece overflowing with brilliant unravelling frenzy. To say the audience are put on the edge of their seat would be an understatement.
Although jaw-dropping, this play is brimming with well executed, well written, and overall, just fabulous comedy that invites the audience to laugh despite the gory nightmare they’re watching unfold in front of them. Crocodile Fever is graphic in the best possible way and it’s hard to say that director, Gareth Nicholls hasn’t captured magic.
Overall, this is a play that slaps the audience right in the face with entertainment in every way possible. Crocodile Fever is simply unmissable.
Runs until 25 August 2019 | Image: Lara Cappelli