Writer: Adaptation by Selma Dimitrijevic and Mikhail Durnenkov
Music: Scott Twynholm
Director: Selma Dimitrijevic
Reviewer: Gemma Hirst
If you’ve ever been recipient of fraudulent activity, then you will know that is it not one of the best of experiences that can happen to you.
The Gamblers explores how the tables turn when playing a game, how addiction can take over, and it is not always a happy ending when you’re drowning in debt.
The adaptation and gender swap version of Nikolai Gogol’s The Gamblers tells a story of women who like to play the game, drink, swear, sing, dance and gamble, as a gang of con artists who rip people to shreds in monetary terms. A new gangster is in town – Iharev (Amanda Hadingue), and is smarter than he looks as he soon joins this gang and fangles money out of the next idiot to pass by, only to find that he may be the only idiot in this game of trickery and deceitfulness.
Set in the male dominated area of what appeared to be a school boys changing room, there are tricks, treats and pranks which have been cleverly set up; waiting for the unlucky recipient. Despite the fact that the cast are all females, they encapsulate that stereotypical misogynistic, hell bent on money and power male. There are however elements to remind the audience they are still women, such as the awkward crotch adjustment and the odd hitching of the bra strap, which added a comedic value.
The play has a cabaret feel to it, as the cast play instruments throughout the performance including the clarinet, accordion, cello and a saxophone accompanied by Twynholm’s Russian music composition and a dusty atmosphere. The air of mystery and wonder, that essence that we are about to witness something out of the ordinary and be fully entertained is palpable.
Just when we think you have it all worked out, we realise the jokers are pulling the wool over our very eyes. Their motto is that an act of fraud is simply social engineering, and if this is the case then the audience are well and truly socially engineered.
Runs until: Saturday 1 November 2014