'Caustic satire' a hilarious success

Barbara Frame.
Barbara Frame.
Different management styles. Jo (Kate Schrader), recently appointed as duty manager at Fat Burger and brimming with self-importance and fake confidence, is keen on sticking to the rule book and the kinds of team building you learn about in business courses.

Attila the Hun (Orion-Carey Clark), an unsuccessful contender for the job, prefers more barbaric measures such as coercion, violence and mortal combat.

The other staff are not an easy lot to manage. Tom Cruise (Sofian Scott) copes admirably with endless and unoriginal jibes about his name, until he doesn't - deep-fried name badge, anyone?

Ian (Harrison Kennedy) is easily led and dangerously eager to please, and Mary-Anne (Rebecca Thompson) specialises in negativity and antagonism.

The customers (Shaun Swain, Heidi Geissler and Kat Kennedy in an inventive parade) are the fast-food consumers from hell, each one with their own silly walk and ludicrous demands.

One throws a tantrum because a voucher that expired 12 years earlier can't be used, and others deface cardboard advertisements within seconds of their appearance.

Written by Abby Howells and directed by Alex Wilson, Attila the Hun is hilarious, clever, highly physical and a caustic satire of the fast-food industry.

The Underground Market provides plenty of space for a big, realistic set and some very messy action, complete with tomato sauce - if you're wearing your best clothes, you may want to think twice about sitting in the front row.

Arcade Theatre's successful and varied first year concludes with this anarchic comedy, and provides a good introduction to this year's Arts Festival Dunedin.

 - Barbara Frame

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