Wednesday 18 September 2019

Let Meowt! - Melbourne Fringe Festival review

Have you ever wondered what your pets get up to when you’re not home? In the absurdist comedy Let Meowt!, every act you’ve suspected your pets of doing but were unable to accuse them of is proven true when two cats find themselves locked in their owner’s bathroom. Created and performed by Catherine Holder and Laura Moran, the show is a wacky attempt at what happens when animals go wild while examining the odd behavior of humans, but it is unable to get there. 

Holder and Moran remain committed in their impersonations of cats, with movement, facial expression and voice being constant and in line with what you would imagine a human playing a cat would look and sound like. Their costumes are simple but one glaring omission is the lack of tails on Cinnamon and Pepper. 

The performances might be amusing but unfortunately the rest of this production does not fare up as well. Cinnamon and Pepper may be locked in a bathroom but there is no narrative progression, no suspense and very little comedy. There are many moments that should be funny but the humour never lands or it becomes repetitive; there’s only so long one can watch cats scratching maniacally at a door or discovering the strange items their owner uses on her face and body.

 There are instances when you think Let Meowt! will turn into a commentary on the way humans live their lives with their own preening and grooming and about the societal expectations that are placed on women, but it doesn't go there, or anywhere for that matter. By the time the fate of Cinnamon and Pepper are revealed, you can completely sympathise with these two cats being stuck in a room they’re desperate to get out of. There's potential here, but Holder and Moran need to dig a lot deeper to find the message they are wanting to deliver with this show. 

Let Meowt! was performed between 12 - 17 September at The Rattlesnake Saloon as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

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