Review - Skeletons
Luke Thornhill's 'Skeletons' is a uniquely funny and fourth-wall-breaking comedy about family, murder, and performance itself. From the moment the audience walk into the foyer you are told "you will kill someone" and your list of possible victims is handed to you. The audience then vote on which character is killed - an exciting premise for a murder mystery. The plot unfolds before you like any murder mystery with every possible person under suspicion, but something seems off. With a delightful twist that explains all, the show is thrown from the world of the manor house to the world of the theatre, and if that makes no sense you need to go and experience this yourself.
The tech was simple and yet effective with warm and cold washes for the present moment and past reenactments respectively. This simplicity grounded the chaos unfurling on stage and let amusing moments of interaction between the times. With the Detective going from selectively viewing different parts of overlapping conversations, to interacting with possible clues, the thought behind the blocking and acting choices was clear to be seen. All this a clear testament to Luke's technical background, weaving writing, directing, and technical choices into one thread.
The family's costumes were distinctive and gave the audience a clear visual representation of the Housewife's disconnection, or the Party Animal's want to stand out. Despite how creative the detective's costume was, it didn't stand out from the rest of the characters, which is unfortunate as they are meant to be separated from the family and the world they have created. Given the fact that the images in the programme set your expectations for the visual style of the characters, it was a shame that these didn't fully match up. Despite this, the standout performance from Paige Allen as the detective was a joy to watch and their use of comedic timing and facial expressions formed the foundation of the show.
This show's twist is not one for any theatre lover to miss - so cleverly constructed and with all questions you have just falling away with laughter as they are answered in the most unexpected of ways. I hope that as many people as possible get to experience and enjoy this as much as I did.
Written by - H. Dovell