‘Potty The Plant’ Is Hilariously Dark: Review

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Potty The Plant
Potty The Plant

★★★★✰

Adapted from the award-winning short film, Potty The Plant is a new dark comedy musical that was performed at Durham and Edinburgh Fringe earlier this year. When children start to go missing at Little Boo Boo’s General Hospital, Nurse Mel (Stephanie Cubello), Nurse Steven (Sam Ridley) and Nurse Dave (Zach Burns) team up with Potty (Baden Jack Burns) to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Their suspicions turn to Dr. Acula (Alex Singh), the mysterious doctor who is intent on wooing Miss Lacey (Sarah Oakland). Can this dysfunctional yet lovable group work together to uncover his sinister plans?

Aeddan Sussex, Baden Jack Burns and Sarah Oakland’s writing is brilliantly witty, and it is packed with laugh-out-loud moments. Some of the humour is so bad it’s good, such as during ‘It All Adds Up’, where the crew lead us to believe they’ve solved the mystery, only to land on a completely wrong conclusion. But on the other hand, some of it is incredibly subtle: you can be watching some of the gang at one side of the stage while something completely different is happening at the other side, and the audience’s laughter will be the only indication that something is going on. The cast all have great chemistry, and Cubello particularly excels in her role, bringing great facial expressions to the musical numbers. Burns also must be commended for his puppetry: he really brings Potty alive. The unconventional choice of allowing the audience to see him operating the plant pays off, and adds to the budget horror movie vibe of the musical.

The humour teeters dangerously on the line of what’s acceptable, in a similar fashion to the likes of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Book Of Mormon, but it is well-received by the audience, who are frequently in fits of laughter at the crew’s antics. The songs are very catchy and laden with innuendo; a stand-out is ‘Ask Her Good’, where Dr. Acula explains to Potty what happens on the fourth date. Oakland in the role of Miss Lacey has a beautiful voice, which particularly shines in ‘Unhappy’ and perfectly suits the sweet character.

While it certainly isn’t always the goal that Fringe shows should end up on the West End, Potty The Plant is one that I can see on a bigger stage. With great songs and a captivating plot, the show is sure to have a bright future ahead. Little Big Stack Theatre Company are definitely one to watch, and I look forward to seeing their future work.

Words by Ellen Leslie


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