Prague Fringe 2015
When Doug Abbey learns an imposter has stolen his inheritance, he takes as consolation a small empty jewel box. Little does he know, it will spark the most thrilling adventure of his life, to the heart of rural Italy.
Doug Abby’s brother George has passed away and Doug is searching for his will in their family home. Entering into this affair is a man dressed in black, who, when Doug is not looking, skulks around the family’s library, looking for the same document, we presume. A Solicitor is helping Doug to sort out his brother’s possessions when Doug learns that George has been married for ten years and that the spouse has stolen the inheritance. This is the set up for a madcap adventure, whodunit mystery tied up into an amusing evening of theatre.
In looking through a box of objects left to him by his brother, Doug finds mothballs, a teddy bear and a pair of cowboy boots. The cowboy boots contain a map, which will lead Doug to a priceless antique gem, the Etruscan Blue Diamond. Little does he know that others are also after the same gem. These excellent actors perform a series of fast paced, slapstick scenes. With each scene the comedy became more and more wild. Characters enter in and out, disguised in costumes, trying to trick Doug into giving them the diamond. It was intriguing and fun when the action would freeze, the lights dimmed and a spot light came up on Doug standing in the middle of the stage having a conversation with his brother, the actor played both sides of the conversation with ease and agility.
Into this mix comes a sexy vixen that entices Doug to travel with her to Europe to recover the diamond. We witness their love affair through projections that depict their European tour to Paris, Venice, and Rome. In the end the boy gets the girl and they live happy ever after.
This was classic British humor on parade, with puns, asides to the audience and even mocking the idea of asides to the audience. I really enjoyed how the three seemingly simple set pieces kept being converted into more and more different locations. Jewel Box combines aspects of the Three Stooges, the Pink Panther, and Agatha Christine crime stories to present an entertaining evening of theatre.