A performance piece inspired by Becket, the original story features Puntila, his daughter Eva and manservant Matti. Puntila / Matti explores themes of class, wealth and technology and was very witty if at times nonsensical, though it easily draws the audience in. The warnings before the show were many and titillating, though nudity was not actual nudity but a cock in a sock-like enclosure. For all his bluster, Manderson-Galvin decided not to go the Full Monty, but exhibit instead a modicum of modesty.
Tobias Manderson-Galvin reminded me of a cross between a lion tamer and a huckster, and was dressed (mostly) as a prize fighter, though he rarely wavered from the huckster role. His in-your-face style is not for everyone though, and if you’re squeamish about audience participation, avoid the front row.
A very trippy 85 minutes, the play finished with last woman standing Grace Lauer looking very stylish in a pin-striped suit after having spent most of the evening in nothing but her underdaks. On an off-note, the mass infantilsation of the audience by Manderson-Galvin grated at times. Some performance art has a way of directing audiences that can be annoying and this was no exception. Another hiccup for me was that narrator Antoinette Barbouttis needed either more volume or for the music to be turned down, as some of her observations, which were a highlight, were lost in the mix.
Puntila / Matti is presented by MKA & Doppelganger with KXT bAKEHOUSE, for more information and tickets see: http://www.kingsxtheatre.com/puntila-matti/
Featuring: Tobias Manderson-Galvin, Antoinette Barbouttis and Grace Lauer.
Creative Team: Tobias Manderson-Galvin & Dr Tom Payne (concept and direction) Dr Tom Payne (dramaturg), Antoinette Barbouttis (visual design), Jules Pascoe (composition) and Wilson Liew (photography).