Any show – good or bad – that supplies genuine intrigue from the very moment you walk through the door, as you are greeted with a sea of staring faces, is certainly going to be memorable. Dirty Glitter is a comedy-thriller set during the peak of disco, involving sex, crime and acid trips. The writing of the story is truly gripping; it particularly comes into its own towards the end of the show.
But what really makes this show stand out is the company that work brilliantly together as an ensemble – as well as their own individual performances. Each character seems well polished, with some absolute stand out performances involved. Aided by some very witty writing and detailed direction by Mike Dickinson, there are some true gems that get to show-off throughout this piece.
Two partners in crime, Murphy (Michael Hawkins) and Val (Niall Ross Hogan) balance each other extremely well. Hawkins’ stiffness as Murphy compliments Hogan’s naivety and wackiness, making for an interesting combination. It was your not-so-typical good cop/bad cop scenario, with the two attempting to achieve their goals but not always getting there, which caused some extremely funny moments.
The standout performance was Michael Longhi’s astounding and extremely memorable turn as Vince. The rawness with which he portrayed the psychopathic elements to Vince’s character was particularly gripping and very watchable. Every time I wanted a subtle change in his character, he did this without hesitation and right on cue which added to the erratic nature of Vince which was excellently played.
The piece is also perfectly punctuated with smaller but crucial roles. Some of the best moments came from the character of Bug (Callum Forbes) with his absurd persistent stare into the distance, combined with farcical touches such as randomly eating lettuce at inappropriate moments – these had the audience in stitches. Blink and you’d miss it, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t. Another perfect aspect of the piece came from Toni Garcia Romero as Joe, whose little specks of perfected Spanish beats caused for some fantastic comedic moments.
It was sometimes a bit of a shame that these moments were over cut with background disco music, which is stunted by its catchiness. I sometimes found myself becoming distracted by funky lyrics which made hearing the dialogue quite difficult. This could possibly be avoided by some very intricate editing but it wasn’t enough of a distraction to detract from the piece entirely. The characters also occasionally break the fourth wall, but this is established fairly late in the piece, and I think the storyline could benefit from this method of storytelling earlier in the piece, to make it a little smoother.
The piece ends in an unexpected but extremely thrilling manner, as it just comes into its element. It’s a fantastic story – with credit due to both its writers and actors – that leaves you wanting more. Dirty Glitter is definitely the naughty indulgence that your fringe trip needs.
Dirty Glitter is playing The Space On The Mile until August 26.