> Norwich Playhouse
Kaos Theatre returns to Norwich with a reputation for cutting edge physical theatre and original storytelling. Expectations are high in the tale of the heroine/anti heroine Moll, whore, victim, thief, woman…
The trouble is, Moll is played by a man (to reflect that the story is the disreputable Defoe himself). Many of the male and female parts are strangely swapped. By the end the confusion has ceased to be comic and become distasteful and pointless.
If there was doubt that performance art reinvents the past, this is proof.
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Shades of the Beggar's Opera (six songs and early musical theatre) and a touch of Brecht's Threepenny Opera (music, villains and a moral message).
But the main element is farce - masses of comings and goings through doors, windows, panels and drawers.
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There are dropped pants and endless parading of an artificial penis strapped to a woman.
In the second half there was welcome relief from all the simulated copulation in the form of a house fire.
After two hours of the romp, debauch and unlikely circumstance, the whole is something of a let down. Like many sexual anticipations, I'm told!