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Adelaide Fringe 2016

Without a Hitchcock

On the Fly

Genre: Comedy, Improvised Theatre, Theatre

Venue: Live from Tandanya Theatre – 253 Grenfell Street, Adelaide


Low Down

Hitchcock. The master of tension and suspense. In his film ‘Rope’, he pushed his audience to the edge with ten-minute takes, close quarters and high stakes. In Without a Hitchcock, his techniques are used to tell brand new, suspenseful, improvised stories. Come and see the show go off without a Hitch. We’ll ratchet the tension right up until it inevitably…snaps.


Tension and suspense was advertised, tension and suspense was delivered with a healthy dose of comedy and improvisation to create a memorable evening. The night started with one of the Artistic Directors, Jarrad Parker, who also plays several characters in the show, asking members of the audience for the first words that sprang to mind. When ‘lobotomy’ and ‘caterpillar’ were sheepishly blurted the audience eagerly anticipated the incorporation of these words into the performance.

We were not disappointed – the show contained all of the classic Hitchcock elements from the opening scene where a Mafia boss is betrayed by his operatives, to the conspiracy theory (Project Caterpillar) that a good many people are a part of, and solving the mystery of how many people have been lobotomised (used here loosely as brainwashing).

The plot was cleverly executed with only a few pauses between quips and in between conversations, which gave the audience time to make their own deductions about the mystery. The direction and sequence of the scenes was consistent with a typical Hitchcock movie and the story was revealed in a compelling manner.

Although all of the actors played their parts well, stand out performances were Parker and Marshall Cowan, whose talent with accents and exaggerating characters made the audience laugh. A few small hiccups with the props and lighting (but nothing that distracted from the performers) reminded the audience that this was improvised theatre and this was forgiven as the laughs continued and tension mounted.

The team at On the Fly performed the night’s show admirably and I look forward to seeing them again in the future.