Okay, I’ll admit it. I haven’t seen the film Jurassic Park. Yes, I have lived under a rock for the past 50 years. But by no means does this stop me enjoying Superbolt Theatre Company’s dynamic Jurassic Park.
The aptly named Park family have gathered for the memorial of Mother Park, and they’re honouring her the way so many families choose to honour their loved ones. A communal screening of Jurassic Park, of course. But there’s one slight issue. The tape’s gone missing. Petulant daughter Jade is ready to get in a taxi home, and Father Park, Terry, resembles a rabbit in the headlights as things begin to go wrong. After all, the Parks practically define the phrase dysfunctional family.
Noah, however, has other ideas. He’s not ready to let this tiny hiccup ruin their plan and he knows the film inside out. Things are about to get old school. One word: re-enactment. Who needs VHS? (Genuinely.)
This show is just unapologetically, irrefutably fun. We enjoy watching it, the small but powerful cast of 3 enjoy performing it… it’s like a giant dinosaur party in a theatre, but with slick physicality and even a Britney Spears dance scene. What more could you want?
Even though I am a Jurassic Park novice, their impressions of the film characters are still hilarious and the humour perfectly timed. I can only assume that the impressions are spot on, too, since every single one prompts a raucous laughter from the audience. I lose track of the number of times Jurassic Park gets applause throughout the show, and when it’s over, we’re all standing – evidence enough of Superbolt’s talents.
They go beyond the humour though. Noah, Terry and Jade are compellingly dysfunctional, and scenes from family life with the Parks are neatly intertwined with the re-enactments. The Parks are almost Pixar-esque – slightly exaggerated and caricature-like but utterly charming. We really do feel sympathy for Terry, the conventional struggling single father figure. You know the type: always relied on the mother to deal with emotions and all that jazz, but at least he tries.
So it’s all the more touching when we see them unite in their celebration of the film but also their mother. Jurassic Park is only film about dinosaurs – but for the Parks, it acts as a plaster for their dysfunctionality.
One thing is for certain. I’m out to get myself a copy of this film. But something tells me that film Jurassic Park will have a hard time matching up to Superbolt’s Jurassic Park.
Jurassic Park is playing at Assembly Roxy until August 30th. For more information, visit the Fringe website.