Monday, 17 December 2018

Childhood toys: deconstructed

A CONFESSION: I was once a Power Rangers fan - as I recall, I was particularly keen on the pink one

A CONFESSION: I was once a Power Rangers fan — as I recall, I was particularly keen on the pink one.

But it hadn’t really occurred to me how one-dimensional the character was until Punchline Theatre parodied her for this play (with a different spelling used for copyright reasons).

Of course, being a girl, obviously she wore pink, but the play also outlined that she rarely had anything smart to say (almost like that wasn’t allowed), fighting baddies whilst doing her make-up.

Not only did Punchline pick up on women’s portrayal, they managed to ridicule the entire TV show. They addressed its racist undertones, with its stereotypical black character and actors chosen to “meet the Asian quota”.

One of the highlights was the outrageously enthusiastic red ranger (sorry, rangeur) commenting on how it was a “normal American high school where everyone looks like they are in their mid-twenties and no one goes to class”. True of more than just Power Rangers!

Before Punchline head up to Edinburgh, the overall performance could do with a little polishing. There were moments when it felt rushed, as if they were all scrambling to get their lines in, causing slightly awkward pauses.

A more consistent pace would ensure that none of the jokes in their witty script are lost. Punchline’s overall message was perceptive — astutely remarking how the children’s show tried to “crowbar in a meaningful life lesson”, though complex issues can’t easily be simplified into a story of good and evil.

Go Go Power Rangeurs is showing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from August 17 to 29. Showtime is 5pm daily and the venue is C soco at ibis (venue 81).

Review: Amy Nicholas

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