If you ever feel that theatre critics are just talking out of their arses, this show’s for you. Three female comedians—Adrienne Truscott, Ursula Martinez and Zoe Coombs Marr—let out a stream of quotes from theatre reviews, their bums perched in front of microphones.
The three performers have surprisingly expressive rear ends, which bounce or vibrate with rage, or swallow pens in bafflement. But this is no incontinent flow of verbal diarrhoea: the joy of Wild Bore is the craft that’s gone into repurposing these reviews, patterning them and burrowing into their meaning.
The critical voices that get the biggest laughs are the old farts, puffed up with fury at the very idea that theatre they don’t like should have been allowed to come into being. But Wild Bore shows that all theatre criticism deserves to be criticised and satirised, whether it’s vitriolic or dripping with well-meaning sympathy. The artists focus on the phrase “for no apparent reason”, showing how theatre critics assume that anything they don’t understand is either sloppiness or random whimsy. They fight against this tide of critical arrogance by creating a show which descends into exhilarating, but tightly planned chaos: each shitting, prancing, penis nose-wearing moment of insanity is a meta-theatrical callback to their critics’ words.
Predictably, Wild Bore does periodically disappear up its own arse, muddying its power with pettiness or tightly-wound, inward-looking analysis of what it all means. But it’s still so much hilarious, filthy fun: you come out feeling slightly soiled, gasping for air.