Edinburgh Fringe 2012
The third iin a series,though all standalone as well, Joe Bone and an accompanying live soundtrack offer up film noir in the form of the latest installment of the Bruce Bane saga.
This is Joe Bone’s third rollicking tale of his alter-ego Bane, where a hilarious script and brilliant performance makes a visit to the mean streets of America an utter joy.
Joe Bone of Whitebone production takes the Film Noir gangster/detective genre and makes you laugh till you cry. He appears onstage in a cabaret setting in an overcoat, holds the stage for a moment while his accompanist (Ben Hoe on guitar) strums a few chords and then produces an hour of non-stop narrative making fun of every American detective and gangster film of the last fifty years, He plays all the characters from the hero to the bystanders, the market men, policemen, the boss to the hit-men. My absolute favourite was the sibilant hitman whispering “Yeeesssss bosssss” while the wife’s coy yet slightly provocative “I’ve made French toast” was the epitome of every Doris Day cute fifties heroine, who instantly conjured up split-level houses, sparkling fitted kitchens and closely mown grass!
In addition to his amazing range of character voices, he plays all the sound effects, from cars and bikes and ships to the ratcheting of a bridge opening, the scream of a seagull, the plop of newspapers being thrown onto lawns and of course guns and knives . .
The story is moved along at a frantic pace and cuts backwards and forwards, always with the motto “Less is more” as his guide – it is spare, immaculately timed and very, very funny. Bane moves from being a powerful gangster to a reluctant shot-up fugitive to a suburban hero to –but I don’t want to pre-empt the finish. Suffice it to say that he satirizes every cliché of the genre and makes it his own.
I have so many pictures in my head from his characters and sounds that I would swear there had been scenery! I have no idea what the lighting was like, or if it changed , I was so concentrated on Bane and his sensitive guitar player who punctuated the story with chords and fragments of melody, original yet familiar. I do know that everything about the production focused the audience on the narrative and the action, every move and sound had a purpose. It was riveting, witty and my ribs hurt wfrom laughing.
Bane 3 had a deserved standing ovation, gets an indisputable 5 stars from me and I can’t wait to catch up with Bane 1 and 2