For the final instalment of Q Theatre’s MATCHBOX season A Slightly Isolated Dog has brought Don Juan to Auckland. Known to be used many times over as a character of bold and womanising traits, Don Juan or Don Jon is a man who lives for love, mystery and action. He has been previously portrayed in various movies and his tale has evolved in countless ways. Here in director Leo Gene Peters realisation Don Juan’s tale is swimming in sexual debauchery, lunatic violence and narrated in five provocative French accents.
Upon entering the Q Theatre you are greeted sporadically by the enormously flamboyant performers, what seems like a flirtatious somewhat innocent adult playtime is actually a clever disguise. The cast are undoubtedly feeling their way through their new audience; gathering tidbits of information and personality traits to use to their theatrical advantage throughout the show. It’s a fun and enjoyable way to start the evening when you’re stroking Pierre – the cross dresser’s – chest hair (Andrew Peterson) or holding hands with Bastian the young faux Frenchman (Jack Buchanan).
As the performance takes off it becomes instantly apparent that audience participation is imminent, this is one of the highlights of Don Juan. Everyone in the room gets the opportunity to play a part and big or small your temporary role is crucial to the success of the story. However, the backbone of the show is, of course, the incredibly talented performers, each one taking their turn to play the notorious Don Juan, who acts suspiciously like the infamous Inspector Jacques Clouseau and is symbolised by his cap, shades, sparkly scarf and eerie Big Brother esque voice. Each actor also has their own character to keep track of while taking the role of Don Juan as they switch personalities rapidly showing their versatility and improv skills. The mayhem intensifies and the cast render the fourth wall non-existent by turning the room of observers into a gathering of friends all telling Don Juan’s tale.
Don Juan is surely a night of curated frenzy and lols all around, you’ll be whipped to attention, flattered beyond belief and entirely entertained.
See Don Juan at Q Theatre until November 12th.
Reviewed by Lindsey Catherine