B grade has never been better

Psycho Beach Party (Little Ones Theatre)

Theatre Republic, The Loft

September 18 – 28

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Little Ones Theatre’s “Psycho Beach Party” is a retro romp through B grade surfer and slasher movies. Indeed, its camp cheesiness is what makes it such a cult classic, with sold out seasons in Melbourne and Sydney behind its Brisbane Festival sensation.

The story is of a wannabe surfer chick with multiple personality disorder. Like Gidget, Florence (Chicklet) is more fish than dish. She isn’t interested in boys and just wants to surf like the Great Kanaka. Unfortunately, one of her alter-egos is simultaneously unleashing strange sado-masochistic horrors on other beach-goers.

The energetic ensemble cast all deliver wonderfully nuanced performances of affectionate archetypal tribute, from accent and, inflection, down to physical presence. But the highlight has to be Ash Landers’ gender-bending performance as Chicklet, in all of her selves. The beach shack set awash in leopard print is simple, yet detailed and, combined with catchy tunes like Rock Lobster, creates a fabulously fun atmosphere.

It is easy to see why “Psycho Beach Party” has become such an independent theatre phenomenon. So enjoyable is its experience that you leaving with immediate desire for a repeat viewing, making mental list of the friends you need to bring along to share the hilarity.

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